The Builder Magazine
September 1921 - Volume VII - Number 9
’’Ancient Freemasonry and the Old Dundee Lodge No. 18,
1722-1920” — A Review and Resume
BY BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD
SUCH is the title of a book recently written and published by Bro. Arthur Heiron, one of
the Past Masters of Old Dundee, and now offered to the Craft under a loving and
reverent dedication to "The premier lodge of the world for Masonic research, The
Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, No. 2076." Nothing could be more appropriate
than such a dedication for Bro. Heiron faithfully carries on the great tradition of Gould,
Speth, Crawley, Higghan and all those other leaders of "Quatuor Coronati" who so well
taught us all what genuine Masonic scholarship may be. Brother Heiron's book is the
first volume that I have encountered in more than two years that I would unhesitatingly
nominate to a place among the permanent acquisitions of Masonic literature. I hope that
it will receive a cordial reception far and wide, and be studied by young Masons, and
referred to by Masonic periodicals, and be quoted as an authority by Masonic writers, for
it is deserving of all these honours and uses.
"Old Dundee" was formally constituted March 27, 1723, which was within six years of
the organization of the first Grand lodge, and which was, no doubt, many, many years
after Old Dundee itself came first into existence, for there is every reason to believe that
it had been active before 1717. From 1722 to 1739 it existed as a city lodge in London,
where it held its meetings in various taverns: then it moved to the suburb of Wapping, a
great shipping centre, where it remained, prosperous and influential, from 1739 to 1820;
at which later date it moved back to the city where it has since remained, and where, in
consonance with its century old tradition, it still carries a list members "who use the sea."
In 1729 it was number 12 on Grand Lodge list; in 1740 it was No. 1 1; in 1755 was No. 9;
and in 1814 was No. 18, which number now retains. It had 22 members in 1723.
The lodge's Minute Books go back to 1748, a very early date, but even so no written
records are extant of its formal constitution. Since the Duke of Wharton was Grand
Master at that particular time, Bro. Heiron makes the very reasonable hypothesis that it
was who officiated at the ceremony, and that he was doubt accompanied by Dr.
Anderson, and Dr. Desaguliers. Bro. Heiron gives, in passing, a brief but vivid sketch of
the Duke of Wharton, that erratic young nobleman who seemed to possess all the gifts
except common sense; who obtained his office through a piece of chicanery; who later
went over to the rapscallion "Gorgomon" society which existed to travesty Masonry;
who spent his last years in France plotting again his country; and who died there at 33
mined and bankrupt, and a Roman Catholic.
THE BUILDER has often taken note of the fact that in the very early days of the
Fraternity there was no distinction made between "Masters" and "Fell Crafts," insofar as
degrees were concerned. In a "Book of Constitutions" purchased by Old Dundee in 1756
it is recorded that at the time when the lodge was constituted the new Master and
Wardens were "yet among the Fellow Crafts." From 1717 to 1725 all degrees were
conferred in Grand Lodge alone, except by special dispensation. From 1748 (and
doubtless earlier still to 1 809 the First and Second degrees were given as one ceremony;
and By-law (of Old Dandee) No. 14, of 1760, indicates that the Third degree was
optional. A fee was charged a man for "being made a Mason"; and a special fee was
levied when he was raised to the degree of a Master: and the former phrase referred to
the First and Second degrees as constituting one ceremony. "It was not until 1809," says
Bro. Heiron, "that we began to give the three degrees separately," and he attributes this
change to the influence of the "Lodge of Promulgation."
Grand Lodge itself in those early days was still in process of growth, and until the Union
in 1813 was often hard to put to maintain its authority and pay its bills. From 1717 to
1777 it had no home of its own but met around at various halls and taverns, such as "The
Goose and Gridiron," "Stationer's Hall," "Fountain Tavern," "The White Lion," etc.: in
1777 Freemason's Hall in Great Queen Street, was dedicated. To quote Bro. Heiron:
"Rowland Berkeley was Grand Treasurer in 1766, and the late Henry Sadler (Sub-
Librarian) states that the Cash Account of Grand Lodge in those days was rather meagre,
and that the amount of cash handed to the Grand Treasurer in 1766, when he took office,
was only about 260 pounds, and that its entire possessions at that date consisted of two
Books of Records, a Sword, possibly a Bible, and a jewel or two; but that it had neither
furniture, jewels, nor habitation. It generally met in a tavern at Fleet Street (the Devil
Tavern was a great favourite), and its Annual Grand Feast was held at the hall of one of
the City Companies. There was then only one Fund, called 'The Fund of Charity,' and
for six months in 1765 the contributions from the various lodges only amounted to about
104 pounds; in this year there were about 300 lodges on the list; what a contrast to the
important and responsible position of Grand Lodge in 1920, the number of lodges
registered under the jurisdiction of our Grand Master being now about 3,600!" (Page
But, meagre as were the resources in members and money in those far days, subordinate
lodges took themselves with becoming seriousness, and refused to permit slovenly work
or equipment, as is proved from the records of Old Dundee, wherein we find a long list
of expenditures which, judged by present standards, entailed on the faithful many
sacrifices. There is a record of buying silver lace for the aprons. In 1746 a "Triangle,
with Blocks, Lewis, Crabb, etc., 2 stones and 1 Marble Block" were purchased. The
chair occupied by each of the officers was of fine wood and elaborately carved and
ornamented, the Worshipful Master's seat having a sun as its emblem; the Senior
Warden's a full moon; and the Junior Warden's a half crescent moon. A cut glass
candelabra was purchased and much money was spent for wax candles. A coffin and
pall were used, the latter being very costly. In 1779 silver chains were purchased for the
officers. Also, curiously enough, a "perpend ashlar" is mentioned more than once, which
was a stone made as thick as the wall, and smoothed off on the ends that would show;
has any brother ever seen a "perpend ashlar" in an American lodge?
In the case of Old Dundee members were not made in the lodge room itself, but in a
small chamber adjoining, called the "making room." The earliest manner of conferring
Masonic degrees was as different from that in vogue among us as can well be imagined:
on a sanded floor the "Upper Tyler," by means of forms, drew the "lodge," which,
according to their manner of speech, was "an oblong square": inside this, by aid of metal
guides and forms, he drew the various symbols and emblems of Masonry. But it will be
better to let Bro. Heiron tell this story, which he does as follows, on page 220:
"The candidate having been duly prepared (probably in the early days in a state of semi-
nudity, robed in a white flannel gown), was received into the 'Making Room' by a Past
Master, well acquainted with the ceremony. The candidate was then duly Obligated,
most likely at an altar in the middle of the room; he was not 'hxxdwxxxxd,' at any rate up
to 1766; he would then receive his first Masonic instruction, by having the Form of 'the
lodge' (previously drawn by the Tyler on the floor in chalk and charcoal), with various
Masonic signs and symbols, explained to him; and the Words, Tokens, and Signs having
been communicated to him, he was Made an Entered Apprentice and Passed to the
degree of a Fellow Craft by one and the same ceremony. Then the candidate, having the
'Mop and Pail' handed to him, would be instructed to erase from the floor the Symbolical
drawing with its Masonic secrets. The Ritual being thus ended, the Master, Wardens,
and Candidate (together with any members and Past Masters present), would then
adjourn to the adjoining lodge room, 44 feet long, by 25 ft. wide, and 15 ft. high, and his
further education as a Mason would be proceeded with."
In the centre of this lodge room, (this refers to the early days,) there stood a square table,
about which members sat to drink and to smoke. He who would move about the room
under such circumstances was compelled to turn sharp comers: did the custom of
"squaring the lodge" while moving about thus come into existence? The old Masons
were a convivial lot, one might almost say a tabulus lot: Old Dundee's Minutes teem with
notes of money spent for wine, gin, tobacco, etc. And they loved feasting, too, as did
nearly everybody in those sociable times. Often times men joined the lodge in order to
secure some of its trade, either by way of food and drink, or in furnishings, and
stubbornly did mine host resist every suggestion that the brotherhood might hold its
meetings in some other tavern. "The lodge," writes Bro. Heiron, "was considered almost
in the light of a Masonic Club." "Smoking and drinking were allowed in Grand Lodge
for many years." Up to 1763 members were permitted to eat and drink in Old Dundee's
own lodge room. Ever so often feasts were held, as when new officers were installed,
and once a year, usually at some favourite tavern in the country, the brethren assembled
for their annual feast, as did also Grand Lodge.
During the last quarter of the eighteenth century and the first decade of the nineteenth,
there was a considerable amount of mutual dislike between members under the
jurisdiction of the so-called "Modem" Grand Lodge, and those that looked up to the
Grand Lodge of the so-called "Antients"; those of the one persuasion were denied
admittance to the lodges of the other, save when, as sometimes happened in Old Dundee,
the brother was re-initiated. At the same time there were a large number of lodges
unaffiliated with either of the two warring Grand Lodges, though held regular by them
both: these were called "St. John's Lodges" and their members, "St. John's Masons."
According to the Minutes, 162 of these St. John's men visited Old Dundee between 1748
and 1755. I am frank to confess that this large number surprises me, inasmuch as I have
never dreamed that there were then so many unaffiliated lodges.
As for Balloting the following tells its own story:
"Although our brethren were very cosmopolitan, (this is proved by the great variety of
trades, etc, represented on the membership roll. H.L.H.), they thought nothing of
rejecting a candidate unless he were well recommended and his proposer and seconder
popular; on one occasion a clergyman was refused membership. We originally used
'White' and 'Black' counters, one of each sort being given out to a brother to use as he
desired; a secret drawer in the lodge's old 'Dues Box' opened in 1920 (after being closed
for perhaps a hundred years) contained a number of such counters. Bye-Law No. 13 of
1760 provided that two 'Blacks' were to exclude; in 1770 and 1772 candidates were often
rejected." (Page 205.)
Of another very different matter Bro. Heiron writes what must be of the first interest to
students who have so often pondered over a certain very dark matter in the Ritual:
"The hanging of malefactors at Tyburn had a wonderful charm for the populace; and if
they could later on assemble in crowds to enjoy an execution at Newgate, stopping up all
night to get a good view, it is pretty clear that the 'Drowning of a Pirate or a Sailor' in the
river at Wapping must have been full of attraction to the morbid mind, these latter scenes
taking place quite close to the door of the Lodge of 'Old Dundee.'" (Page 58.) He quotes
Besant: "Next to Wapping Old Stairs is 'Execution Dock'; this was the place where
sailors were hanged and all criminals sentenced for offences committed on the waters.
They were hanged at low tide on the foreshore, and were kept hanging until three high
tides had flowed over their bodies, an example and warning to the sailors on board the
many ships anchored there. The prisoner was conveyed to the spot in a cart, beside his
own coffin, while the ordinary sat beside him and exhorted him. He wore the customary
night-cap and carried a Prayer Book in one hand, while a nosegay was stuck in his
bosom." Captain Kidd, the notorious pirate known to every boy, was thus hanged, March
23, 1701. So also were many others, of whom the records still remain.
For those who are not clear in mind as to the story of the Great Schism which for so
many years divided Masonry into two hostile camps it would be difficult to find a more
concise account of the matter than the following, which Bro. Heiron incorporates in his
"The 'Modems' founded their Grand Lodge in 1717, but their rivals the 'Antients' did not
constitute theirs before 1753; so in point of time the 'Moderns' were, as a body, thirty-six
years older than the 'Antients.' The separation arose thus:
"The authority of the Grand Lodge of 1717 was not recognized universally. Certain
lodges retained a position of independence, keeping to customs peculiar to themselves,
and certain societies arose professing to be Masons, but often using the name of the Craft
as a cloak for political or even less worthy purposes. About 1730 (1739?), in order to
meet these difficulties, the Grand Lodge of 1717 allowed the lodges under its jurisdiction
TO VARY THE RITUAL, and took other steps to defeat the purposes of persons falsely
(in their view) representing themselves to be Masons. The following extracts from
Grand Lodge Minutes refer to the matter:
"'For preventing any false Brethren being admitted into Regular Lodges, and such as call
themselves Honourary Masons.'
"'Several Rules for their Security against all open and secret enemies of the Craft.'
"'To prevent the Lodges being imposed upon by False Brethren or Imposters, Proposed
that, etc .... '
"Certain lodges, (recmited chiefly from Irish Freemasonry) insisted, however, on
retaining the established Ritual, and later began to state openly that those who had varied
the established forms and ceremonies were not worthy to be regarded as Masons. They
dubbed them 'Modern' Masons and claimed for themselves the title of 'Antient'
("Ancient." H.F.H.) Masons, meaning thereby that they, and they alone, practised
Masonry according to the proper rites.
"The principal changes affected by the 'Modems' were that they:
"(1) Transposed the Secret Word in the First and Second degrees;
"(2) Gave up the use of Deacons, or, at any rate, did not appoint them;
"(3) Omitted the Ceremony of Installation;
"(4) Did not officially perform the rite of Holy Royal Arch (said to be the completion or
perfection of the Third degree);
"(5) Most likely they also changed the Steps; and, generally, curtailed the ceremonies,
relying chiefly on teaching the tenets of the Craft by means of Lectures." (Pp. 104-105.)
Space does not permit a more complete resume of these interesting pages; I must
hurriedly note a few items at random and draw to a close.
Dr. Dunckerley, one of the ablest and most illustrious Masons that ever lived, was a
member of Old Dundee from 1761 to 1768, during which period he was on the sea; his
approval of many things done by the lodge during a critical period helps throw light on
the attitude of Grand Lodge at the time.
After the Union of 1813 it is evident that many of the older brethren strenuously objected
to the "innovations"; no fewer than eleven members withdrew from Old Dundee alone,
which means that the number throughout the entire Craft must have mounted to the
Bro. Heiron gives all excellent account of the evolution of the Tracing Board. First, the
"lodge," as described above, was drawn on the floor. Next, blocks were cut which, when
put together, produced the same symbols and emblems, and these blocks were kept in
cover, like a book. Later, a solid piece was made which was set on trestles; and finally
this was placed on easel, or similar supports, and thus the modem Trestle Board had
come into existence. It is too bad that the Trestle Board is not more widely used in
American Masonry! It has among us, so far as my own observations have gone,
degenerated into rather tawdry pictures hung on the wall in a comer of the ante-room.
Bro. Heiron contributes materially to the long continued discussion as to what were
"Master's Lodges"; he gives evidence to show that these were nothing other than veiled
devices for conferring Holy Royal Arch at a time when that degree was not a part of the
"work" authorized by the "Moderns."
Here is an interesting paragraph:
"The Inquisition caused John Coustos (a Freemason, and diamond-cutter by trade) to be
arrested in Portugal about 1743, and accused him of not obeying the Papal Bull declaring
Freemasonry a heresy. Coustos remained tme to his Obligation, and after suffering the
greatest tortures (being racked nine times in three months), was sentenced to four years'
work as a galley-slave, but through the intervention of the British Government he
obtained his release, and the story of his ill-treatment was published. It was the custom
in olden days to present to young Masons a book containing an account of 'The
Sufferings of John Coustos for Freemasonry, 'as an example for them to imitate." (Does
any reader know where a copy of this book may be had? H.L.H.)
Old Dundee had no treasurer until 1753 or 1754. Prior to that time the Master cared for
all monies. The lodge did not appoint Deacons until 1810. The Master's hammer was not
called a "gavel," as among us, but a "hiram" which is the proper name for it, and thus
distinguishes it from the "gavel" which is really a working tool. Those "using the sea"
could be proposed, balloted, and made on the same night. "The Book of Common
Prayer" was bound up with the lodge's old Bible and was used before the days of 1813.
A "History of Masonry" by Scott is referred to in a record of 1754: has the reader ever
seen such a book?
All this is but a tithe of the interesting matters that could be drawn from Bro. Heiron's
very important book did space permit. It has but one serious defect: there is no index!
To a student this is a cardinal crime. It will be an easy matter to insert one in the second
edition. A second edition is sure to be called for!
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS - JEREMY GRIDLEY
BY BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD. P.G.M. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
JEREMY GRIDLEY was born in Boston in 1701. The records of his early life show that
he taught a grammar school in Boston for several years, and that he was a student of
theology and an occasional preacher though it cannot be established that he ever received
orders. He was a law student at Harvard University and was graduated from there in
1725. He soon become eminent in the legal profession and as a member of the general
court from Brookline he opposed many measures of the British Ministry. He was
appointed Attorney- General for the Province of Massachusetts Bay and in 1761 defended
the Writs of Assistance for which the custom house officers had applied to the Superior
Court and which authorized them to enter houses under suspicion of obtaining smuggled
goods at their own discretion. His antagonist in this was the celebrated patriot, James
Otis. Gridley was also a Colonel of Militia.
His acquaintance with classic literature made him a central figure among literateurs, and
for a time he was editor of the "Weekly Rehearsal," a magazine prized for its classic
editorials. He was ever interested in the affairs of his town, was a moderator in
Brookline, and was an active selectman in the Boston Marine Society.
Jeremy Gridley was a member of the Masonic order in Massachusetts, was an assiduous
attendant on the communications of his Grand Lodge, and was Grand Master from 1755
to 1767. During this period, when altruism prevailed and selfishness was less in evidence
than it is now, men were followed for the good they did rather than for the noise they
made. Gridley was probably not aware of the extent of his leadership, for in addition to
those who were influenced through personal acquaintance with a great man, many more
were reached by his literary productions. His classic writings and his splendid legal
aphorisms tended towards a reform in the language as much perhaps as the work, wit and
sayings of Boccaccio in Italy, Bacon in England, or Lincoln in America. He is one of a
number of early Grand Masters who have set us a precedent, not only in great Masonic
acts, but in good English and charming examples of expression.
A very beautiful monument (see frontispiece) was erected to his memory in the Granery
burying- ground in 1916, and dedicated by Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson. It tells the
Father of the Boston Bar
Provincial Grand Master
Masons in North America
Public Spirited Citizen.
Was Erected to His Memory
Most Worshipful Grand Lodge
Free and Accepted Masons in Massachusetts,
Dedicated by the Most Worshipful
Melvin M. Johnson,
May 11, 1916.
THE COMACINES — THEIR PREDECESSORS AND THEIR SUCCESSORS
BY BRO. W. RAVENSCROFT, ENGLAND
THE BUILDER SEPTEMBER 1921
Ten years have passed since my little venture entitled "The Comacines: Their
Predecessors and Their Successors," was published, and it is not without some modest
complacency one looks back to the rather daring adventure I then made. Daring, because
at the time a great deal of information since obtained was not in my possession.
Complacency in this retrospect I claim to be somewhat justified for two reasons:
First, that I was careful to discriminate between what I knew and what I held in theory
only, and, Second, that subsequent knowledge, criticism and help have, I may say,
wonderfully confirmed my conclusions. This, I think, has been demonstrated in my
"Further Notes on the Comacine Masters," so kindly called for by my American brethren
in Freemasonry, and now that through the interest shown by them in the subject I am
asked for permission to reprint in THE BUILDER the contents of my original book, I
can only say it is with the greatest pleasure that I respond.
Personally convinced of all I claim for the Comacine Masters without shadow of doubt it
must naturally be a source of gratification that an increasing number of brethren take
interest in the subject.
Had I not written my "Further Notes on the Comacine Masters," the better course might
have been to have entirely rewritten the message I desire to convey, but under the
circumstances I think it preferable to let the reprint of my original book be just a
reproduction in original form.
Masonry is progressive, and so, as I have received much from my predecessors in this
matter, I sincerely trust others will take up the running and further develop the story in
which I humbly take my part with so much interest and pleasure.
THE ORIGINS OF FREEMASONRY AND THE TEMPLE BUILDERS
SOME few years ago an extremely interesting book was written by a lady under the nom
de plume of "Leader Scott," and having for its title The Cathedral Builders. The reading
of that book awakened in me a great desire to know more of its subject, and this was both
gratified and stimulated by an unexpected visit to Italy in the spring of 1906. Then
followed the collecting of notes and drawings, etc., and a second visit to Italy in the
following year, with the further result that one was tempted to set down the outcome of
the whole experience.
In doing this, I did not at first contemplate anything more than an outline sketch of the
"Cathedral Builders" themselves, but the temptation came in more forms than one to add
something as to their antecedents, and perhaps also their successors. I do not deny that
this, to a certain extent, leads into the realm of conjecture; but as I hope in the following
notes to discriminate - at least in some degree - between what is theoretical and what is
historic, I need not, perhaps, apologize for stepping into so wide a field.
Those who read this paper will judge for themselves what amount of reason there may be
in any theories I may submit for consideration.
Perhaps it will be convenient to say what I have to say in regular order, first as to the
antecedents of the "Cathedral Builders" - or, as I shall call them, the "Comacines" - then
as to their own body, and then as to their successors.
Who and what the Comacines were will appear as I go on; but it will be well just to state
here that they were originally the community of builders who, at the downfall of Rome,
left that city, and settled on the Lake of Como.
I shall have to make frequent allusions to Leader Scott's book, to which I am indebted for
my earliest interest in this subject. I only wish I could express this to Mrs. Baxter, of
Florence, its painstaking author; but same six years since she died, and thereby the world
lost a talented and not adequately appreciated writer.
In order, however, to get back to the antecedents of the Comacines, it is necessary here to
make a passing reference to their successors, because one of the most important
traditions of the latter takes us back to the point from which we start. Most people are
aware that, according to Masonic traditions, the ancient rite was associated with the
building of King Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem, and that, if Freemasonry did not
originate there, it was from that association that it derived much of its subsequent form.
But perhaps it is not so well known that there have been a host of theories as to the origin
of Speculative Masonry. By Speculative Masonry I wish it to be quite understood I mean
that system of morals inculcated in the lodges of Freemasons at the present day, and
which, largely put into shape in England in the year 1717, has spread wellnigh over this
globe of ours. There have been those who held that it did not grow out of the operative
guilds of the Middle Ages, but, as a speculative science, linked itself on to a much more
remote past. Some associated it with the teaching of Euclid, transmitted through Charles
Martel and our own Athelstan; some with the cult of Mithras as practised in Rome, and
so back into the sun-worship of hoar Persian antiquity.
Others say it was the outcome of the Greek mysteries; others, still, that it was taught by
the Essenes, with whom our Lord is supposed by some to have been associated, and that
they descended from the architects of the Temple at Jerusalem; others, again, that it was
brought to England by the Culdees, those old Irish missionaries, of whom St. Columbia
was one, and who were associated with the Roman College, and so on, even back to the
construction of the Tower of Babel and of Noah's Ark, and to Jabal, the son of Lamech.
Some of these contentions probably take their colour from a similarity in the use of
symbols and of the things symbolized - Life and Death, Time and Eternity, Light and
Darkness, Good and Evil, and many other such; above all, perhaps, from the worldwide
idea of a fraternity of mankind, wherein brotherly love, truth and charity shall rule.
This, then, leads me to say the argument of this article, which is not to be exclusively or,
indeed, chiefly devoted to the history of Freemasonry, will be, so far as the third part of
it is concerned, that the Speculative Freemasonry of today is the outcome of the
Operative Masonry of the Middle Ages, and that, in consequence, while it has striking
resemblances to the mysteries of Egypt, Greece, and even China, it can claim no direct
descent from such except through the medieval guild of artificers. Through those guilds,
however, and especially that of the Comacines, modern Freemasonry may claim a grand
heredity, and perhaps it may yet be found that some of the legends which have been
handed down to us are not so mythical as many are disposed to think.
Whole volumes have been written on this subject, and, therefore, to attempt even a
cursory survey of it is quite impossible here.
Those interested in pursuing it farther are referred chiefly to Findel's and Gould's
Histories of Freemasonry - the former, perhaps, somewhat out of date, but interesting.
With these explanatory remarks I now come to the first part of my subject - the
antecedents of the Comacines, and their association with the building of King Solomon's
Temple. Most writers are agreed upon the historic basis for the Roman Colleges of
Artificers, particularly such as had to do with Operative Masonry. From these, of which
more hereafter, we will venture back into the suggestive past, and try to realize the
pedigree of at least one important branch of the building craft.
In his work on The Mythology of the British Isles, published some four years since, Mr.
Charles Squire makes a statement to the effect that "A Hametic race spread around the
Mediterranean, coming from North or East or Central Africa. Long-skulled and forming
long barrows, they were probably the first people to inhabit the Valley of the Nile, and
their offshoots spread into Syria and Asia Minor. The earliest Hellenes found them in
Greece under the name of Pelasgoi, the earliest Latins in Italy as the Etruseans, and the
Hebrews in Palestine as the Hittites.
"They spread northward through Europe as far as the Baltic, and westward along the
Atlas chain to Spain, France, and Britain. In many cases they reached a comparatively
high level of civilization, but in Britain their development must have been early
checked." The main point of this statement, for our purpose, is that we have these
peoples - the Etruscan's in Italy, the Pelasgoi in Greece, and the Hittites in Asia Minor
and Syria - all said to have come of one stock, and to have similar habits and language
based on a common Hametic speech.*
A glance at the map of the Mediterranean will suffice to show how very possible this
suggestion is; and if we may put the date of the building of King Solomon's Temple at
1000 years B.C., and that of the founding of Rome at the generally accepted 753 years
B.C., we have already at hand in Italy, Asia Minor, and Syria - not to say anything here
about Greece - a settled race of people consisting of two nations with a great deal
common to both, the Hittites and the Etruscans. Now, as regards the Hittites, Dr. Hugo
Winckler, who has been quite recently conducting explorations in Asia Minor, has made
discoveries which have placed it beyond doubt that these people were at one time
powerful rivals of Egypt and Assyria. Following in the footsteps of Professor Sayce, he
has found their capital city (Boghaz Kevi) in Cappadocia, and not only this, but a treaty
on a clay tablet made between the Hittite King and Rameses II., who was probably the
Pharaoh of the Captivity. This powerful kingdom extended through a considerable part
of Asia Minor and down into Syria, and so, geographically, the kingdom of Israel would
be a next-door neighbour to it. Indeed, the Hittites fought so many of their
*In an article in the Fortnightly Review for October, 1908, Mr. D. G. Hogarth seeks to
point out what the sum of recent archaeological discovery, Hittite and other, amounts to
in relation to Hellenism, and says: "In sum it amounts to this: that not only was the
geographical focus of historic Hellenic civilization the focus also before that of a
prehistoric culture of immemorial antiquity and local development, which was on the
highest plane of aim and achievement as prehistoric cultures go, but also that the
geographical areas enclosing that focus on west, north, and east, round a very wide
radius in both the European and Asiatic continents, had been producing objects of utility
and art since an equal antiquity, and on only little lower planes of culture."
battles with Egypt in Palestine, particulary round Kadesh, that the smaller tribes of that
country became enfeebled and exhausted by the strife, and hence, in the time of Joshua,
so easy a prey to the advancing Israelites when they occupied the land.
The editor of the Antiquary (November, 1908), says: 'It is to the Hittite people, whose
empire extended from the Euphrates to the Aegean, and the site of whose capital is now
marked by the mounds of Boghaz Kevi, that we must look for the home of the Hyksos,
whose origin up to the present has been shrouded in mystery."
A branch of this great nation appears to have been located at Hebron which is not so far
from Jerusalem, when Abraham made treaty for a burial-place. They also spread
southward towards the Dead Sea, and were engaged in conflict with Joshua; and it must
not be forgotten that if King Solomon's mother was not a Hittite, she was the wife of one
But recent exploration has demonstrated that nearly all Scripture references to the
Hittites do not include the great kingdom north of the Mediterranean, and hence a
misconception has arisen as to their place and power as a nation. Now, the Dmces of
Mount Lebanon may put in a very fair claim to be the descendants of the Hittites of that
district, and this is claimed for them in an article in the Daily Telegraph of June 17,
1890; while the Rev. Haskett Smith argues, in the Transactions of Lodge Quatuor
Coronati (vol. iv., p. 8, 1891), that his two propositions are as follows:
1. That the Dmces are none other than the original subjects of Hiram, King of Tyre, and
that their ancestors were the builders of Solomon's Temple.
2. That to this very day the Dmces retain many evident tokens of their close and intimate
connection with the ancient craft of Freemasonry. Moreover, Laurence Oliphant, writing
some years ago respecting the Dmces of Mount Lebanon, pointed out the very close
similarity that exists between their ritual for admission of youths into their secret
conclave and the initiation ceremony of a modem apprentice to Speculative Masonry.
And now as regards the Etmscans. Although it is still a matter of some speculation as to
who they were, and still a matter of conjecture as to what was their language, it is now
admitted on all hands that what the Romans first learned of the arts, especially those of
building and pottery, they learned from the Etmscans, and that, indeed, the myth of the
founding of Rome by Romulus must be regarded as a myth only, since on the arrival of
the earliest settlers, who became the progenitors of that mighty race, the Romans, Rome,
actually existing, had its name Roma, which, as it now transpires, is an Etruscan word.
Professor Lindsay, in his introduction to the most recent edition of Dennis' Cities and
Cemeteries of Etmria, says: "The question as to the Etmscans, their language and their
home before they migrated into Italy, will soon be solved, but meanwhile that they were
immigrants is likely, for ancient tradition made them come from the East, in particular
from Asia Minor, and no sufficient reason for doubting this has appeared." Then he tells
us that, as regards language, "Etruscan has no affinity with Latin - that was clear - nor
did it belong to the Indo-European family of languages. At the end of last century,
however, came," he says, "an unexpected wealth of material for our study. A linen cloth
wrapped round an Egyptian mummy in the Museum of Agram, in Austria, proved to be
the relics of an Etruscan Book of Ritual." Dennis says, in his introduction to his book,
that the Etruscans were the chief architects of early Rome; that they built the great
temple of Jupiter on the Capitol, and constructed the Cloaca Maxima; and that Rome,
whenever she wanted to raise any public building, sent to Etruria for artificers. And,
further, as to their antiquity, he writes "that a people of Greek race, the Pelasgi, entered
Italy at the head of the Adriatic, and crossing the Apennines, mixed with the
mountaineers and drove out the earlier inhabitants, they in their turn being conquered by
a third race, called by the Romans the Etmsci. They are supposed to have established
their power in the land 1044 B.C., which would be a few years before the building of
King Solomon's Temple, and subsequently to the establishment of the Hittites in Asia
As to their works in plastic art, Dennis remarks that they bear marks of strong Egyptian
influence; while Strabo, from personal acquaintance with the antiquities of the respective
lands, remarks the analogy between the art of Egypt, Etruria, and early Greece.
Much more might be added in evidence that the Etruscans came out of Asia Minor into
Italy, and that they were a similar race to the Hittites - indeed, of the same family.
Suffice it to say, however, the conclusion I want to submit respecting the connection of
these people with King Solomon's Temple on the one hand, and with the Comacines on
the other, is that, at the time of the erection of the Temple - and, be it remembered, its
fame was widespread - here were people in Italy, in Asia Minor and in Syria, all of one
race, enlightened, working in their own style (influenced, of course, more or less by
Assyria and Egypt), partakers, so far as the Syrian branch is concerned, in the building of
the Temple, and having descendants in the Dmces, who to this day retain masonic
traditions; that the Etruscan branch of these people taught the early Romans, who in turn
developed their own colleges, and ultimately became the great Comacine Guild, and that
the latter possessed and displayed badges and marks which were traditionally linked on
to King Solomon himself. Of these more hereafter.
Is it a wild inference that, by traditions, handed down from generation to generation, the
Comacines were, at any rate in some senses, the successors of the Temple-builders, and
that the masonic stories associated with the Temple told today in connection with
Freemasonry are not without foundation?
THE ROMAN COLLEGE AND THE QUATUOR CORONATI
Now, with sure foothold we come again to the Roman College of Artificers. "The
Architectural Collegium of the Romans enjoyed the privilege of a constitution of their
own, and were recognized by the State as a legal body. They were placed under their
own officer, Aedilis, who was skilled in architecture, and, according to Vitruvius'
statement (at the time of Augustus), the members were required to be well skilled, and to
have a liberal education.
"Upon the overthrow of the Republic, when all other corporations lost their privileges,
owing to the despotism of the Emperors, the thirst of the rulers for splendour and renown
caused the collegia to be confirmed in nearly all their former rights and privileges. Three
members were at least required to form a college, and no one was allowed to be a
member of several colleges at the same time. Lay or amateur members (patrons) were
admitted; the coiporations held their meetings in secluded rooms or buildings exclusively
appropriated to that purpose, and most of them had their own schools for the instruction
of apprentices and lower grades of workmen. They had also their own peculiar religious
ceremonies and priests, and an exchequer belonging to the corporation, an archive, and
their own seals. The members took an oath mutually to assist each other; indigent
members received relief, and on their demise were buried at the expense of the
corporation. They kept registers of the members, some of which are still extant; they had
also their records, their masters (magistri), wardens (decuriones), fellow-crafts and
apprentices, censors, treasurers, keepers of archives, secretaries, and serving brethren.
Their tools and implements had, besides, a symbolical meaning, and in religious matters
they were tolerant."*
The name of Brother does not become general until the time of the Christian masonic
Roman authors and monumental inscriptions furnish undeniable proofs that these
* Findel's History of Freemasonry, Ed. 1869, pp. 20, 21
tia) continued amongst the Romans for a considerable period, and existed in Gaul,
Brittany, and our own land.
How far the Steinmetzen (stone-cutters) of Germany, whose regulations the English
Freemasons of 1717 are said to have taken their model in constituting the Speculative
body of today, were descendants of the Roman colleges it is scarcely within the province
of these pages to discuss. Probably they were one branch of the legitimate descendants of
that body, and, if so, it is not with significance that they possessed traditions of the
Temple at Jerusalem, honoured the great patron saints of the Comacines, the Quatuor
Coronati, and in two columns in the Cathedral of Wurzburg, originally situated, like the
brazen columns of King Solomon, on either side of the porch, but now in the body of the
cathedral (their relative positions reversed), actually, show the shafts of those columns
interlaced in a manner similar to that of the Comacine knot.
To return, however, to the Roman collegia, Gould tells us there is conclusive evidence of
their survival till the time of the decline and fall of Rome, each legion having a college
attached to it, which accompanied it in its various campaigns. Thus they came to Britain,
and we are told that in the early fourth century there were no less than fifty-three
important cities, each with its Collegium Fabrorum, in England. Some think they
became the progenitors of the English Medieval Guild of Artificers; our contention,
however, will be otherwise.
And now we come to the story of the Quatuor Coronati, whose names are so closely
linked with the Roman collegia, the Comacines of the Dark Ages, the Steinmetzen of
Germany, and find their place as far west as even England itself.
Obscure and conflicting are the legends of these worthies, and, indeed, it would be a
hopeless task to tell their story accurately in all its details. On the other hand, there is so
much of general accuracy in the various accounts given, that the fact of their existence is,
I believe, nowhere doubted.
To gather and sum up as a brief biography of these men, it would appear that when, in A.
D. 298, the Emperor Diocletian was building his baths in Rome, he included a temple to
Esculapius, the God of Health. At that time there were four craftsmen, by name
Claudius, Castorius, Semphorianus, and Nicostratus, sculptors by trade, or more likely
"stone-squarers." They were Christians, and on account of their great skill, which they
secretly attributed to their doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, they
were in much favour with the Emperor. A fifth craftsman, however, Simplicius, was not
so successful, and his tools failed to do the work required of them until taken in hand by
Clauduis, who said: "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, let this iron be strong and fit
to work well." Then Simplicius set to work again, and succeeded with the rest.
Moreover, he inquired as to this mystery, and, being converted by Clauduis, repaired
with the other four to Bishop Quirillus, then in prison, and ultimately at his hands
received Christian baptism. Then followed disputes with the philosophers, who
denounced them to Diocletian as Christians.
He on his part used his influence to save them, and it is not unlikely this remarkable
clemency arose from a prudence which dictated how unpopular would be the martyrdom
of members of so powerful a guild as the Roman College had then become. But the
philosophers were too strong, and the order was given that they should execute a statue
of Esculapius or die. They went on with their work in every other direction, but the
statue they would not make. At length others were found to obey the Emperor's
mandate, and the five were handed over to the tribune Lampadius, who was to try by
gentle methods at first, and afterwards by force to get them to recant. The philosophers
and other fellow- workmen cried, "Away with the magicians!" The tribune hesitated.
Still he would make one more effort. Would they offer sacrifice to the Sun God? No,
they served only the God of heaven. Reference was again made to Diocletian, and at
last, all efforts failing, they were stripped and beaten with scoipions at the command of
Lampadius, who in the same hour expired sitting in his judgment-seat, being torn by an
The news of this violently enraged Diocletian, who, on November 8, had the five shut up
in coffins of lead and cast into the Tiber. Forty-two days after, one Nichodemus, a
Christian, succeeded in recovering the bodies and placed them in his own home. Several
months after this Diocletian, returning from Syria, commanded that all the soldiery on
coming to the image of Esculapius should be compelled to offer incense with sacrifice,
especially the city militia, when four of the latter body, called Cornicularii, or wing-
leaders, took counsel together, and, being Christians, decided not to obey the Emperor's
behest. They are said by some to have been not only milites (soldiers), but also
artificers, and when they resisted, Diocletian ordered them to be put to death in front of
the image with strokes of the plumbata, or thongs weighted with leaden balls. For five
days their bodies lay in the streets, when the blessed Sebastian, with the holy Bishop
Melchiades, collected them by night, and buried them on the road to Lavica, three miles
from the city, with other holy men in the cemetery. On the Via Labicana, three miles
from Rome, in the Vigna del Fiscale, is the catacomb of the Quatuor Coronati.
Presumably by this time those other five had been transferred from the home of
Nichodemus to their new resting-place in one of the catacombs. The names of the last
four were not known until, in the ninth century, they were miraculously discovered
through their military rank, and are now given as Severus, Severianus, Carporferus, and
Victorianus; and as they died on the same day in November as the former five, but two
years later, their festival is commemorated with the others on this day.
Some confusion exists as to which of the two sets of martyrs were the Quatuor Coronati,
and even under Scott falls, I think, into error on this point, for in the various accounts the
methods of their martyrdom are very mixed. The evidence, however, is certainly in
favour of the four soldiers who were executed in A.D. 300, and not of the earlier five
stone-squarers. Gould says: "Upon the latter [i. e., the soldiers] Pope Melchiades, A.D.
310, bestowed the title of Quatuor Coronati, or Four Crowned Ones, by which they are
described in the more ancient missals and other formularies of public devotion, though in
connection with the five who are referred to by name and as holy martyrs. Within twelve
years of their death, Melchiades founded the original basilica to their honour, and in the
seventh century (622) Pope Honorius I erected a handsome church, in the form of a
basilica, to the memory of the four, out of the ruins of a temple of Diana on the Coelian
Hill, and in A.D. 847 the then reigning Pope rebuilt it with greater magnificence."
Into this church of the Quatuor Coronati were removed, A.D. 848, the remains of the
nine martyrs. They were placed in an oratory beneath the high-altar of the church. The
four crowned brothers were in two marble sarcophagi, and on either side in two others
were disposed the remain of the five, while a very large sarcophagus containing the relies
of many others was placed behind them. The crypt under this altar is so dark that it is
impossible, without artificial light, to make out clearly the detail of the sarcophagi, but
there they are to all appearance as above described. The four officers (albeit craftsmen
also), instead of the five masons, have become the patron saints of the building trades,
while the occupation of the five has survived under the names of the four. The
martyrology of Du Saussay, however, claims that the bodies of the five were taken to
Toulouse, and one of them, St. Claduis, we get the memorial to this day in the French
name of St. Cloud.
A few words may be permissible here as to the church of the Quatuor Coronati, which
not unlikely in the Middle Ages formed the Mecca of the craft-guilds of Europe. It is
situated in a somewhat out-of-the-way spot in Rome, not far from the better-known
church S. Clemente. The original church of Honorius, whose altar, as in most early
churches, faced the east, being at the west end, was a noble structure, having a long nave
with an elevated tribune at the end. Fifteen columns from pagan temples on either side
formed the aisles, and supported the gallery above for the nuns who were attached to the
church. But in the great fire of 1084 it was destroyed, and in 1111 restored by Pope
Paschal II, shorn, however, of its ancient glory. The long nave was shortened by erecting
a wall across it from the seventh column, through which the entrance to the church is
made. Walls also were built between the columns, and eight new columns were placed
in the church to form new aisles, so that the whole width of the present church represents
the original width of the older nave only. Over the entrance is a fresco representing the
four saints in clouds, all holding palms in their hands, the emblem of martyrdom and
victory, and they have bay wreaths on their heads. Below are companies of Augustine
Sisters and novices adoring the saints. The pavement is the work of the Cosmati family,
and the vault and walls of the tribunal represent in fresco the four saints being scourged
and put into leaden coffins (mark again the confusion in the method of martyrdom), a
work of the seventeenth century. The roof of cypress has in the centre the four crowned
martyrs, all with their working tools in their hands. Further restorations were made in
1624 by Urban VIII.
In the Quadri Porticus Innocent III (1 198-1215) founded a chapel of S. Sylvester, which
contains some curious thirteenth-century frescoes of the life of Constantine. From the
sixteenth century it has belonged to a guild of marble-cutters, who celebrate Mass on the
last Sunday of the month. Over the door is a fresco of the four saints, and the
inscription: STATU ARIORUM ET LAPICIDARUM CORPUS ANNO MDLXX.
Besides the representations of the Four Crowned Ones already mentioned, there are
many in different parts of Italy, but perhaps the most beautiful is the one in the church of
Or S. Michele at Florence. This church was that of the trade guilds of Florence, and in
the early sixteenth century the Guild of Smiths, Caipenters, and Masons instructed an
amateur sculptor, Nanni di Banco, to prepare a niche therein with the figures of their
He set to work, achieved a beautiful result, including in the lower part of the design
interesting reliefs, showing the four at work, and all went well until he came to put up his
statues when he found he would not get them in. Accordingly - so the story goes - he
repaired to Donatello, who offered to get him out of his trouble if he would stand him a
supper (there is a truly masonic ring about this), and satisfactorily accomplished the feat
by literally making the statues to rub shoulders. It is to be hoped his supper was equally
satisfactory. In a picture in the Pinacoteca, Perugia, I found a predell showing three
scenes in connection with the Coronati, and they are interesting, but again illustrate the
extent of confusion which existed in relation to the methods by which the five or the four
met their death.
But perhaps the most interesting association to us is the connection between the Quatuor
Coronati and England. In his ecclesiastical history, A.D. 619, the Venerable Bede has a
chapter headed, "Bishop Mellitus by Prayer quenches a Fire in his City." This city was
Canterbury, and the record states that "the church of the four crowned martyrs was the
place where the fire raged most." This church survived the fire, and some are of the
opinion that it was erected about the time of St Augustine, A.D. 597. If this is so, then
this was probably the first Christian edifice erected after the arrival of the Apostle to the
English. The dedication would be both significant and remarkable. Others argue that
from its having withstood the fire it was more ancient, being of stone, etc. The present
church of St. Alphege, built early in the fifteenth century, is supposed to stand on the
In addition to this, also it is of interest to note that the earliest mention of the Quatuor
Coronati in a craft document is to be found in a poem of the fourteenth century, known
as the "Halliwell" poem.
In the Isabella Missal the four are depicted in a beautiful piece of work, each with a
working tool-viz., the square, the plumb-rule, the trowel, and the gavel.
This picture is the original from which the illustration now appearing on all the
publications of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge is derived. Mr. Speth, in a most interesting
account of the nine martyrs, published in 1895, has taken great pains to give his
authorities, and he also adduces good reason for believing in the substantial truth of the
legend. Voragine's Golden Legend gives the story in a very mixed form.
(To be continued)
ROMAN CATHOLICISM AND FREEMASONRY
BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
THE BUILDER SEPTEMBER 1921
THE GRAN LOGIA ESPANOLA was organized in 1760, but in 1780 the name was
changed to the Grand Orient when Symbolical Masonry became subordinated to the
Scottish Rite. Among the prominent Masonic workers of that time were such men as
Aranda, Campomaneos, Rodriguez, Nava del Rio, Salazar y Valle, Jovellanos, the Duke
of Alva, the Marquis of Valdelirias, and the Count of Montijo. It is also asserted by
Spanish writers that the ministers of Carlos III were mostly Freemasons and that to them
was attributable the energetic action against Jesuitism and Ultramontanism. With the
downfall of Napoleon and the liberation of the Papacy, Pius VII hastened to repeat the
papal denunciations of Masonry and, on 15th August, 1814, he issued a decree against
"its infernal conventicles, subversive of thrones and of religion." This decree was
approved by Fernando VII, and it was embodied in an edict of the Inquisition, dated 2nd
January, 1815, offering a term of grace of fifteen days, during which penitents would be
received without penalty, but after that date the full rigor of the laws, both secular and
canonical, were to be enforced. On the following 10th February, the term was extended
until Pentecost (14th May), inviolable secrecy being promised. Fernando, however, had,
by this time, prohibited Freemasonry under the penalties attaching to crimes of the first
order against the State and, in pursuance of this decree, twenty-five arrests had been
made, among whom may be mentioned General Alava, Wellington's aide-de-camp in
Madrid, for suspicion of membership, on the 14th September, 1814, or within one month
of the papal edict.
In 1815, Juan Jose Diaz de la Espada y Landa, Bishop of Havana, was accused of
Freemasonry in Cuba by the zealous Inquisitor Elosua. The hearing was transferred to
Spain, but it was not until 1 1th November, 1819, that the Bishop was ordered to be
suspended. The sentence does not appear greatly to have interfered with his activities, as
he retained his see until his death on 12th September, 1832.
The Inquisition was never established in Naples, but this did not prevent the Popes from
sending commissaries frequently to this kingdom, who exercised a kind of perambulating
jurisdiction. In 1781, Fernando IV of Naples, for the second time placed the Craft under
an interdict, but, in 1783, he cancelled his former inhibitions, though he subjected the
meetings to strict judicial control. Their independence and privacy being thus
endangered the lodges gradually dwindled and died out and Masonry ceased to exist in
the two kingdoms.
There is a record of a Masonic Church Service being held on St John's Day in Harvest,
1800, at Ennis, when the members of Lodge No. 60, attended the Roman Catholic chapel
there, the sermon being preached by the Rev. Dr. M'Donagh (said to be the Coadjutor
Bishop of Killaloe), who subsequently dined with the brethren.
The jealousy of the Inquisition towards the civil authorities is shown by the prosecution,
in 1815, of Diego Dilicado, parish priest of San Jorje in Coruna, because he had reported
the existence of a lodge there to the public authorities and not to the Inquisitors. About
the same time, Jean Rost, a Frenchman, was sent to the presidio of Ceuta by the
chancellery of Grenade, but the Seville Inquisitorial tribunal instead ordered his
On the 8th May, 1817, the Madrid tribunal sentenced Albert Leclerc, a Frenchman, to
imprisonment for membership of the Masonic Order. The civil court had, however, tried
and convicted him for the same offence. The Inquisitors contented themselves with the
demand that he be brought to their secret prison for the performance of spiritual
exercises under a confessor commissioned to instruct him in the errors of Masonry, after
which he was returned to the civic authorities for the performance of his sentence and
banishment. Not so fortunate was Manual Llorente, sergeant of the Grenadiers, who,
after his secular trial and imprisonment, was re-tried for the same offence by the
Santiago Inquisitorial tribunal, when he was sentenced to a further term of
imprisonment. The Inquisitors claimed that Freemasonry was an ecclesiastical crime
demanding excommunication, which sentence the civil tribunals had no power to order.
In 1817, also, a priest, Vincente Perdiguera, actually one of the commissioners on the
Toledo tribunal, was charged with "notorious Freemasonry and irregular conduct," when
he was sentenced to be deprived of his office and insignia and of the fuero of the
It is somewhat remarkable that men should be found willing to undertake such work as
was demanded by the Holy Office, to make use of its official title. Great privileges were,
however, accorded to the Inquisitor. They had power at any time to grant indulgences of
forty days as well as of three years to any who assisted them to trace heretics. They
themselves had also plenary indulgence and full pardon of all their sins, both living and
dying. They were accountable to none but the Pope and had power to proceed against all
persons, whether clergy or laity, and against regular and secular clergy alike. Lewis of
Granada says of the Inquisition: "The office of the Holy Inquisition is the nurse of the
Church and the pillar of truth; the storehouse of the Christian religion and the keeper of
the faith; the touchstone of true doctrine, the best armour against heretics, and the
clearest light whereby to discern the illusions and frauds of the devil."
Still, one cannot but agree with Bro. Albert Pike, when he says:
"If, in other countries, Freemasonry has lost sight of the ancient Landmarks, even
tolerating communism and atheism, it is better to endure ten years of these evils than it
would be to live for one week under the devilish tyranny of the Inquisition and of the
black soldiery of Loyola. Atheism is a dreary unbelief, but it, at least, does not
persecute, torture, or roast men who believe that there is a God. Freemasonry will not
long indulge in extravagances of opinion or action anywhere. It has within itself the
energy and capacity to free itself in time of all errors; and he greatly belittles Humanity
who proclaims it to be unsafe to let Error say what it will, if Truth is free to combat and
refute it. But Freemasonry will effect its reforms in its own proper way; and would not
resort if it could, not even to save itself from dissolution, to means like those which the
Papacy has heretofore employed, and would gladly employ again, to extirpate Judaism,
heresy, and Freemasonry."
Nevertheless, it is to the Inquisition, with its tribunals, its spies, and its tortures, that we
owe the many documents proving Masonic life, particularly in Portugal, in the early days
of its existence, and the documents found in its archives have furnished the necessary
proof of the continuous advance of Freemasonry. In spite of the vigilance of the
Inquisitors, the number of Masonic charges brought before them was a very small one.
From 1780 to 1815, there were only nineteen; in 1816, there were twenty-five; in 1817,
fourteen; in 1818, nine; and in 1819, seven.
In 1809 the Papal States were incoiporated with France and under French rule several
lodges were established. On the return of Pope Pius VII from exile, in 1814, however,
the Craft was once more effectually though but temporarily suppressed among the
Roman Catholics on the Continent, and on 13th September, 1821, Pius VII, issued the
Bull known as Ecclesiam, the third Papal document of that description promulgated
against the members of the Masonic Order, though it is more directly concerned with the
Carbonari, which, of course, was not a Masonic organization. It is singular that none of
the Popes who directed their anathemas against Freemasons seemed, notwithstanding
their infallibility, able to differentiate between Masonic and non-Masonic bodies. The
Bull loads as follows:
"CONDEMNATION OF THE SECRET SOCIETY KNOWN AS CARBONARI.
"Pius, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God.
"For the perpetual record of the matter.
"The Church founded by Jesus Christ, our Saviour, on firm rock, and against which
Christ Himself has promised that the gates of Hell shall not prevail, has been attacked so
repeatedly and by such formidable enemies that, but for the intervention of that divine
promise, which can never pass away, there might seem reason to apprehend that it might
itself perish altogether, overcome by the violence, devices, and cunning of its enemies.
Indeed what has occurred in former times has occurred also, and in a very marked
degree, in this sad age of ours, which seems to be that 'last time' foretold so long before
by the apostle, when 'men shall come mockers, walking after their own lusts in impiety.'
For, in a matter plain to everyone, what a number of men in these very trying times have
gathered together against the Lord and His Christ, who make it their special aim, through
philosophy and vain deceit, cajoling and uprooting the Faithful from the teaching of the
Church, to attempt to undermine (but they will not succeed) and overthrow the Church!
To attain their object with the greater ease, very many of them have formed secret
assemblies and clandestine sects, whereby they hoped to draw more freely many more
into guilty association with their conspiracy. Long since has this Holy See, on
discovering these sects, cried out with loud and free voice against them and laid bare the
plans which they had secretly formed against Religion and even against Civil Society.
Long since it stirred up the diligence of all to guard against the sects being permitted to
attempt what they are nefariously meditating; but it is to be regretted that the result for
which it looked has not corresponded to the zealous cautions of the Apostolic See, and
that these wicked men have not desisted from the course which they have embarked
upon; and consequently that train of evils has followed which we have witnessed; and
these men, whose arrogance is ever increasing, have even dared to organize new
"Mention should here be made of a Society which has recently sprung up and which has
a wide propaganda in Italy and other countries and which, though divided into several
sects, and assuming different and various names, yet is nevertheless one at base in the
community of sentiment and criminal intent and in the organisation of a certain League,
which is known generally as the Society of Carbonari. The members affect a singular
respect and wonderful zeal for the Catholic religion, as well as for the person and
teaching of Jesus Christ our Saviour, whom they sometimes dare even to call the Ruler
of their Society and their Grand Master, but these words, smoother than oil, are nothing
but darts employed by cunning men to wound more surely the less cautious: they come
in sheeps' clothing, but within they are ravenous wolves. Certainly their very stringent
oath, whereby they imitate, as far as possible, the Priscillianists of olden time, by which
they promise that they will never at any time or under any circumstances reveal to any
who are not members of their Society anything regarding the same Society, or
communicate to any in inferior grades of the Society anything that may pertain to the
higher grades; moreover the clandestine and unlawful assemblies which they hold after
the fashion employed by many heretics, and their admission into their Society of men of
any religious creed and sect - all these things, even though other things may be wanting,
are sufficient to show that no credence should be given to their words, but there is no
need of any conjecture or argument in order to form this opinion concerning what they
say, as has already been indicated. There are books, which they themselves have printed,
which give a description of their course of procedure, particularly that employed in the
Higher Grades. They have also Catechisms, Statutes, and other documents of the
greatest weight for the purpose of producing convictions, and there is also the testimony
of those who having abandoned the Society of which they were formerly adherents have
revealed its errors and frauds to legal judges, and who have plainly declared that the
main object of the Carbonari is to grant to every one unbounded license to fashion a
religion for himself, after his own liking and art and of his own, opinions, thus
introducing into religion an indifferentism of the most pernicious kind conceivable and
the profanation and pollution of the Passion of Jesus Christ by their nefarious
ceremonies; showing contempt for the Sacraments of the Church (for which apparently
they substitute in a wicked manner new ones of their own invention) as well as for the
ceremonies of the Catholic Church; as well as showing hatred towards this Apostolic
See, while they are also engaged in pestiferous and pernicious controversies.
"Not less wicked, also, as is clear from the same records are the precepts on morals
propounded by the same Society of Carbonari, although they confidently boast that they
demand in their followers the cultivation and practice of charity and every kind of virtue
as well as abstinence from every vice. The Society, however, favours sensual pleasures
in a shameless manner, teaches the lawfulness of killing anyone who does not observe
the pledges of secrecy as set out above. Although, Peter, the chief of the Apostles,
teaches that Christians should be subject to all human appointments, as in duty bound to
God, whether to the King as supreme, or to Governors appointed by him, and the Apostle
Paul commands every soul to be subject to the higher powers, yet this Society teaches
that it is permissible by stirring up seditions, to strip kings and other rulers of their
authority, whom it unjustly dares to designate as tyrants. These and such-like are the
dogmas and precepts of the Society, from which have arisen the crimes lately committed
in Italy, which have brought such deep sorrow on honourable and pious men. We,
therefore, who have been set as watchman over the House of Israel, that is the Holy
Church, and who, by virtue of our pastoral office, are bound to see that the Lord's flock,
committed to our care, sustains no injury, think it impossible for us in so grave a matter
to abstain from checking the impious efforts of men. We are moved also by the example
of Clement XII, of happy memory, and of Benedict XIV, our predecessors, the former of
whom in a Constitution dated 28th April, 1738, In Eminenti, and the latter by one dated
18th March, 1751, Provides, condemned and prohibited the Societies De Liberi Muratori,
or Freemasons, or by whatever name called, according to the country or dialect, an
offspring of which Societies, or, at any rate, an imitation of them; this Society of
Carbonari must be considered. And although we have already prohibited this Society in
two edicts issued through our Secretary of State, nevertheless following our above-
mentioned predecessors, we hold that we should in more solemn form decree heavy
penalties against this Society, especially as the Carbonari generally maintain that they are
not included in the two edicts of Clement XII and Benedict XIV, and are not liable to the
pains and penalties therein mentioned.
Therefore, having consulted the Select Congregation of our Venerable Brethren, the
Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, and on their advice as well as of our own private
motion, and from our certain knowledge and sure deliberation, and with the plenitude of
Apostolic authority, we determine and decree that the aforesaid Society of Carbonari, or
by whatever name it be called, its workings, assemblies, gatherings, lodges, conventicles,
are to be condemned and prohibited as by these present Constitutions, which are to be
perpetually effective, and we hereby condemn and prohibit them. Therefore, to all and
several, the Faithful in Christ, of whatever standing, grade, condition, order, dignity, or
preeminence, laic or cleric, as well Secular as Regular, even entitled to specific and
individual mention and expression, we give strict instruction, in virtue of holy obedience,
that no one under any pretext whatever, or cunning, shall dare or presume to enter the
aforesaid Society of Carbonari, or whatever it be called, or to propagate or support it, or
receive or conceal it in their buildings or private houses, or elsewhere, or be enroled in it
or in any of its grades, or be associated or take part in it, or grant it permission or facility
of summons to any place of meeting, or furnish it with supplies of any kind, or otherwise
give it counsel, aid, or approval, openly or in secret, directly or indirectly, of themselves
or through the agency of others, in any manner whatever, or exhort, induce, stimulate, or
advise others to be enroled in any Society of this character, or be reckoned among its
members, or take any part in it, or grant it the permission or facility of summons to any
place of meeting, or furnish it with supplies of any kind, or otherwise give it counsel, aid
or approval, openly, or in secret, directly or indirectly, by themselves or through the
agency of others, in any manner whatever, or exhort, induce, stimulate, or advise others
to be enroled in a society of this character, or be reckoned in its numbers or take part in
it, or aid or support it in any way whatever, but that they shall wholly abstain from this
Society and its meetings, assemblies, lodges, or conventicles, under penalty of
Excommunication to be incurred by all acting contrariwise to the above, ipso facto, and
without any declaration, and from such Excommunication no one may obtain the benefit
of absolution through any save us, or through the Roman Pontiff for the time being,
unless lying at the point of death.
"Further, we instruct all, under the same penalty of Excommunication reserved to us, and
the Roman Pontiffs, our successors, that they be bound to denounce to the Bishops, or
others to whom that function pertains, all whom they know to have given in their names
to this Society, or to have defiled themselves with any of the crimes that have been
mentioned. Finally, in order that all danger of mistake may be effectually excluded, we
condemn and proscribe all the so-called Catechisms of the Carbonari, their Statutes, and
the documents or books issued in their defence, whether published in print or in
handwriting, and we prohibit all the Faithful under the same penalty of
Excommunication with the same reservation from reading or keeping the said books or
any of them, and we charge them to deliver the same unreservedly to the local Ordinaries
or others who have an authority to receive them. And it is our will that when a copy of
these our present Letters have been made and printed, subscribed by the hand of some
Public Notary, and stamped with the seal of some person invested with ecclesiastical
dignity, exactly the same respect to them as if the original had been produced and
exhibited. Be it lawful, therefore, for no man to infringe this schedule of our declaration,
condemnation, charge, prohibition, and interdict, or run counter to it with reckless
audacity. But if any should presume to attempt this, let him know that he will incur the
wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.
"Dated from Rome on the 13th September, 1821, in the twenty-second year of our
The Carbonari were a secret society, essentially political in constitution, organized in
such a manner as to admit all classes, from the highest to the lowest. Each of the
members had to be furnished with arms bought at his own expense. It differed from
Freemasonry, which was tolerant in political and religious matters, the members of
which were all citizens. King John VI of Portugal, by his decree of 20th June, 1823,
condemned both the Freemasons and the Carbonari, interdicting their existence in
Portugal. But his prohibition was absolutely ineffectual. Gradually also Carbonarism
came into harmony with Freemasonry, through the medium of the Lodge Montagne,
founded in 1 899 by Luz d' Almeida.
In 1822, Jose Joaquin Fernandez de Lizardi, known as "El Pensador Mexicano" issued a
Defence of Freemasonry, which at once aroused the clerical wrath. In Puebla, a priest,
after exciting the people with his sermons against Lizardi, placed himself at the head of a
mob, which broke into the printer's warehouse, carried off all the copies of the obnoxious
work on which they could lay their hands and made an auto-da-fe of them, the whole
scene resulting in a tumult in which three men were killed and a number wounded.
About the same time Lizardi found it necessary to appeal to the Cortes for protection
against his public excommunication by the archiepiscopal previsor.
On 1st August, 1824, Ferdinand of Spain issued a new edict by which all Freemasons
who failed to deliver up their papers and renounce the Society were to be, on discovery,
hanged within twenty-four hours, without that of any kind. In pursuance of this decree,
on 9th September, 1825, a lodge at Granada was suiprised, when seven of its members
were given a short shrift and gibbetted, the candidate for initiation being sentenced to
eight years forced labour.
on 13th March, 1825, Pope Leo XII issued the, fourth Papal Bull against Freemasons,
which was worded as follows:
"CONDEMNATION OL THE FREEMASONS AND OF ALL OTHER SECRET
"LEO, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God. For the peipetual remembrance of the
"The greater the evils which threaten the Flock of Christ, our Lord and Saviour, the
greater should be the solicitude of the Roman Pontiffs in repelling them, for to them has
been committed in the person of the blessed Peter, the Chief of the Apostles, the care of
feeding and ruling that Flock. It is the duty of those who are set in the supreme watch-
tower of the Church to discern from afar the machinations which the enemies of the
Christian name devise (though they will never attain their end) for the puipose of
annihilating the Church of Christ, as well as to indicate and disclose them to the Faithful,
in order that they may beware of them, and avert and defeat them. Conscious of this
very responsible task imposed upon them, the Roman Pontiffs, our predecessors, have
always kept the watch of the Good Shepherd, and by exhortation, injunction, and the
devotion of their lives to their flocks, they have brought about the prohibition and the
extinction of sects which threatened grave danger to the Church. The record of this
Pontifical solicitude may be extracted not alone from the ecclesiastical annals of
antiquity; it is also shown by what has been done in our own time and that of our fathers,
by the Roman Pontiffs who have opposed themselves against those clandestine and
malignant sects opposed to Christ. Clement XII, our predecessor, observing that the sect
of Liberi Muratori, or Freemasons, was becoming daily stronger and gaining fresh
stability, and a sect which he knew for certain from the many proofs furnished to him
was not only to be regarded with suspicion, but was, indeed, wholly hostile to the
Catholic Church, condemned it in a clearly defined Constitution, beginning with the
words In Eminenti, which was published on 28th April, 1738, and which was as
Then followed the Bull of Pope Clement XII.
Continuing, Pope Leo XII said:
"Benedict XIV likewise, our predecessor, was not content with reviving the memory of
this Constitution. For it had become a subject of general remark that the penalty of
Excommunication which was enacted in the Constitution of Clement XII would have
become a dead letter had not Benedict XIV expressly renewed that document. But it is
absurd to maintain that the laws of previous Pontiffs become obsolete unless they receive
the express approval of their successors, and the Constitution of Clement had been
repeatedly regarded as valid and binding by Benedict. Nevertheless Benedict XIV
thought it well to remove this ground of cavilling out of the reach of the questioners and
he published a new Constitution, known as Provides, on 18th March, 1751, wherein he
repeated word for word the Constitution of Clement and confirmed it in what is regarded
is the most complete and effective form."
Then followed the Bull of Pope Benedict XIV.
The Bull of Pope Leo XII then proceeds:
"Would that those who then succeeded to civil government had set as high a value on
these injunctions as the safety of the Church demanded! Would that they had persuaded
themselves that the Roman Pontiffs, the successors of the Blessed Peter, were not merely
Shepherds of the Universal Church and rulers but also upholders of merit and diligent
forewarners of impending dangers! Would that they had exercised that power which they
possessed to root out the sects whose pestilential designs had been revealed to them by
the Apostolic See! But since, whether through the deceitfulness of the Sectaries, who
artfully conceal their doings, or through the unwise persuasion of others, they decided to
take little notice, with the result that these Masonic sects have never died out and many
others have since sprung up of a worse character and more audacious than they, all of
which seem to be embraced in the bosom of the Carbonari, a sect which, at one time, was
the most prominent in Italy, and which divided into branches, differing only in name, has
undertaken with the greatest keenness the attack upon the Catholic religion, and upon all
supreme authority, both civil and constitutional. For the puipose of freeing Italy and
other countries including even the domain of Pontifical government (into which the
temporary embarrassment of the Pontifical government it had crept in) Pius VII, of
happy memory, our successor, condemned with the severest penalties this sect of the
Carbonari, by whatever name it might be called, in a Constitution published 13th
September, 1821, and known as Ecclesiam a Jesu Christo. We have thought fit to insert
a copy in this Constitution; it is as follows."
Then follows the Bull of Pope Pius VII, given in full as previously given.
Pope Leo XII then continues:
"Not long after this Constitution had been published by Pius VII, We, from no merit of
our own, we exalted to the Supreme Chair of St. Peter, and giving all our attention
forthwith to find out what the position of these clandestine Sects might be, their number,
an influence, we quickly perceived that their insolence had increased chiefly owing to
their number being constantly reinforced by new sects. Special mention should be made
of that known as "Universitarian" owing to it meeting in several learned Universities,
where young men are initiated by certain teachers, whose aim is no to instruct, but to
debase those Mysteries which deserve, of a truth, to be called Mysteries of Iniquity, since
they are a training for all wickedness.
"Hence it arises that so long after the firebrand of treason have been lighted and spread in
Europe by Secret Societies, through the agency of their accomplices, and after the
brilliant victories gained by the most powerful princes in Europe, whereby they hope that
these sects would be suppressed, not yet even have their nefarious efforts come to an
end. New disturbances and seditions have arisen and are apprehended in those countries
even in which previous storms had be abated and there is reason for terror of the impious
daggers stealthily plunged into the bodies of such a have been marked out for death, with
the result that many and severe penalties have had to be decreed in order to maintain the
public peace. "Thence arise also those distressing calamities by which the Church is
everywhere harassed, and which we cannot mention without sorrow and tears. Its
principal dogmas and precepts are shamelessly attacked; its dignity is mocked, and the
peace and happiness which it should enjoy in its own right are disturbed and even
"Nor is it to be imagined that these and other evil which we have omitted to mention are
wrongly or calumniously imputed to these clandestine sects. Books published by
adherents of these sects speak evil authority, condemn government, call Christ either
stumbling-block or foolishness; and not infrequently teach that there is no God and that
the soul of man perishes with his body; while their Codices and Statutes setting forth
these designs, as well as their Constitutions, openly declare that their aim is to undermine
legitimate government, and utterly extiipate the Church, while it may be regarded as
certain and well ascertained that these Societies, though differing in name, are united
together by a bond of the impurest intentions.
"Having regard to these facts, we think it is our bounden duty to condemn these
clandestine Sects, and in such terms that none may boast it is not included in our
Apostolic decree, and on that pretext draw incautious and simple men into error.
Therefore on the advice of our Venerable Brethren, the Cardinals of the Holy Roman
Church, as well as of our own motion, and from our own certain knowledge, and after
mature deliberation, we prohibit forever all Secret Societies, those now existing as well
as those which may hereafter be formed, which propose to themselves the designs
mentioned above against the Church and against Civil Authority, under whatever name it
may be designated, with the same penalties as are contained in the Letters of our
predecessors already quoted, which We hereby expressly confirm.
"Therefore, to all and several the Faithful in Christ, of whatever standing, grade,
condition, order, dignity, or preeminence, whether layman or Cleric, Secular as well as
Regular, strictly and in virtue of holy obedience, we hereby give instruction that no one
under any pretext whatever, or cunning gloss, dare or presume to enter, propagate,
support, receive, or conceal in their buildings or private houses, or elsewhere the
aforesaid Societies, by whatever name, they may be called, or be enroled in them, or in
any degree of them, assemble with them or take part in their proceedings, or give them
leave or facility of meeting anywhere, or furnish them with any supplies, or in any other
way render counsel or support, openly or in secret, directly or indirectly, of themselves
or through the agency of others, in any way whatever, or likewise exhort, induce,
stimulate, or advise others to be enroled in Societies of this kind or in any grade of them,
or take part in them, or aid or support them in any manner whatever; but, without
exception, that they shall hold themselves absolutely aloof from the same Societies,
assemblies, lodges, or conventicles, under penalty of Excommunication, ipso facto, and
without any declaration, to be incurred by any and all who act contrariwise to these
instructions, and from this Excommunication no one can obtain absolution through any
one, except ourselves or the Roman Pontiff for the time being, unless lying at the point
"We further instruct all under this" same penalty of Excommunication reserved for
Ourselves, and the Roman Pontiffs, our successors, that they are bound to denounce to
the Bishop or others whom that matter concerns, all whom they have known to have
given in their names to these Societies, or to have polluted themselves with any of these
crimes hereinbefore enumerated.
"But, especially, we utterly condemn and declare to be absolutely without force, that
downright impious and wicked oath, by which those co-opted into such Sects bind
themselves to reveal to no one anything perstaining to these Sects, and to punish with
death all those associates who reveal such to ecclesiastics or laymen. It is an impious
crime to take any oath except under legal sanction as a bond whereby one is bound to an
illegal murder, and thus to despise the authority of those who govern the Church or
legitimate civil society, and who have the right to inquire into those matters in which
their safety is concerned. It is most iniquitous and indecent to appeal to God Himself as
a witness and; accereditor of such criminal acts. Very properly the Fathers of the third
Lateran Council say: 'Those are not to be called oaths, but rather perjuries which are
framed against the interest of the Church and the most Holy Fathers'; and the effrontery
and infatuation of these persons is intolerable, who, saying not only in their heart, but
even openly and in public writings that 'there is no God,' nevertheless dare to demand an
oath of all whom they may elect into their Societies.
"These ordinances have been made by us for the puipose of suppressing and condemning
all such harmful and wicked acts. And now, Venerable Brethren, Archbishops and
Bishops, we do not claim but demand your assistance: give heed to yourselves and to the
whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has set you, as Overseers, to rule the Church of
God. Ravening wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; but fear not, nor
hold your life more precious than your charge. Remember that on you mainly depends
the constancy in religion and good works of the people committed to your care. For,
although we live in evil days and at a time when many do not hearken to sound doctrine,
yet respect for their pastors on the part of many of the Faithful still continues, who
rightly regard them as ministers of Christ and the stewards of His mysteries. Exercise,
therefore, for the good of your flock that authority which you retain over their souls
through the infinite mercy of God. Inform them of the cunning devices of these
Sectaries, and with what great diligence they should guard against them and their ways.
Let them, under your teaching and advice, dread corrupt doctrines of men who mock at
the most holy mysteries of our religion and the pure precepts of Christ and assail all
legitimate authority, and, to address you in the words of our predecessor, Clement XII, in
his exhortation to the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, and bishops of the whole
Catholic Church, on 14th September, 1738: 'Let us be filled, I beseech you, with the
strength of the spirit of the Lord, in judgment and virtue, lest, like dumb dogs, unable to
bark, we suffer our flocks to become a prey and our sheep to be devoured by all the
beasts of the field, and let nothing deter us from exposing ourselves personally to all
risks for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Let us consider Him who endured
such agony Himself for the salvation of sinners. For, if we are affrighted at the audacity
of flagitious men, it is all over with the efficacy of our Episcopate, and its lofty and
divine authority to govern the Church. Nor can we Christians endure or exist if we
should be dismayed at the menaces or treacherous devices of abandoned men.'
"We also very earnestly call for assistance from you, our dear sons in Christ, the Catholic
princes, each of whom we love with a truly paternal love. To this end, we recall to your
memory the words which Leo the Great, whose successors we are, though unworthy
heirs of his name, employed when writing to the Emperor Leo: "Thou shouldest, without
hesitation, apply the Kingly Power conferred upon thee, not only for the government of
the world, but more especially for the protection of the Church, in such a way as to
defend those statutes which stand good and to restore true stability to such as have been
shaken.' Yet matters are now at such a crisis that those Sects must of necessity be
checked by you, not merely in defence of the Catholic religion but also to maintain your
own security as well as that of the people subject to your rule. For at the present moment
the cause of religion is so closely associated with the safety of society that the one cannot
possibly be disjoined from the other. For the adherents of these Sects are not less
enemies of religion than of your authority. They assail both and plot the complete
overthrow of both, nor would they, if they had the power, teach the existence either of
religion or kingly authority.
"Such, also, is the craftiness and cunning of these men that when they seem most
desirous of magnifying your authority they have particularly in contemplation its
overthrow. The tendency of much of their teaching is to urge that our authority and that
of the Bishops must be lessened and weakened in favour of that of civil magistrates, to
whom they say should be transferred many of the powers properly belonging to this
Apostolic Chair and the Chief Church and to the Bishops who have been called to share
our cares. But their teaching proceeds not only from the malevolent hatred with which
they are inflamed against religion, but also from the hope which they entertain that the
people subject to your rule, should they see the Landmarks fixed by Christ and His
Church overturned in sacred affairs, might easily be induced by this precedent to alter
and destroy the form of political government also.
"We look to all of you, also, beloved sons, who profess the Catholic faith to avoid utterly
men who place light for darkness and darkness for light. For what advantage worthy of
the name can arise from association with men who think that no regard should be had for
God or for any of the Higher Powers, who insidiously and by means of clandestine
meetings, attempt to make war upon them, and who, in the market-place and elsewhere,
cry out that, they are most devoted to the public interests of the Church and society, and
yet, who, by the whole of their conduct already declare their desire to disturb everything,
to overthrow everything. They are indeed like those persons of whom the Apostle in his
second epistle to the Corinthians says: 'we should neither receive them in our houses, nor
bid them Godspeed, and whom our forefathers did not hesitate to call the children of the
"Therefore, beware of their brandishments and honeyed words with which they will try
to persuade you to join these Sects in which they are themselves enroled, for no one can
be a partaker in them without being guilty of most grievous wickedness; repel those who,
to gain your consent to initiation into the minor degrees of these sects, affirm that in
those degrees there is nothing allowed which is opposed to reason and religion, that
nothing is said or done which is not right, pure, or moral. For that nefarious oath to
which reference has been made has to be taken on initiation, and that is sufficient in itself
to enable you to see that it is impious to be enroled even in these minor degrees and take
an active part in them. Then, although the graver and more criminal transactions are not
usually entrusted to those who have not reached the higher degrees, yet it is plainly
manifest that the violence and audacity of these most pernicious Societies gains strength
from the assent and number of those who have joined their ranks, so that even those who
have not passed beyond these lower degrees, must be held participators in their crimes.
To them must be applied the words of the Apostle in his epistle to the Romans, chap. 1 :
'who not only do such things as are worthy of death, but also take pleasure in them who
"Finally, we summon most lovingly all those who, after having been enlightened and
having tasted the heavenly gift, have nevertheless most unhappily fallen and become
members of such associations and taken part in their degrees, whether of a lower or
higher degree. For, fulfilling the part of Him who professed that He came not to call the
righteous, but sinners to repentance, and Who compared Himself to a shepherd, who,
leaving the rest of his flock, anxiously sought the sheep which he had lost: so we exhort
you to return to Christ. For, although they have bestained themselves with the greatest of
crimes, still they ought not to despair of the pity and clemency of God and of Jesus
Christ, His Son. Let them come, therefore, and seek refuge with Jesus Christ, Who
suffered also for them, Who, not only will not despise their return to wisdom, but, like a
loving father who has long waited for his prodigal, will most gladly receive them. On
our part, so much as in us lies, we may arouse them and make the way easier for their
repentance, therefore, we suspend for the space of an entire year the publication of this
our Apostolic Letter in the countries wherein they dwell as well as the obligation of
denouncing their confederates in those Associations, as also the reservation of the
censure into which those have fallen who gave in their names to these Associations, and
we declare that, even without denouncing their accomplices, they can be absolved from
those censures by any confessor whatever, provided he be of the number of those
approved by the Ordinary of the district in which they reside. The same facilities also we
ordain shall be applied to those who may dwell in the city. But if any whom we are now
addressing should be so obstinate as to allow (which may God the Father of Mercies
avert) the space of time we have named to elapse, without abandoning such Associations
and coming to their right mind, immediately on its expiration the obligation to denounce
their accomplices and the reservation of censures will be revived, and it will not be
possible thereafter for any to obtain absolution without beforehand denouncing their
accomplices, or, at least, taking an oath to denounce them as early as possible. Nor will
it be possible for any to be released by any other than Ourselves, or our successors, or
from those who obtain from the Apostolic See the faculty of absolution from the same.
"further, we will that exactly the same credit be given to printed copies of these our
Letters subscribed by the hand of some Public Notary and fortified with the Seal of
someone entrusted with ecclesiastical dignity, as would be given to the very original
letter if exhibited or produced.
"Let it be lawful, therefore, for none to infringe this schedule of our declaration,
confirmation, denunciation, mandate, prohibition, invocation, requisition, decree, and
will, or to act in opposition thereto with reckless audacity. But, if any presume to attempt
this, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed
apostles Peter and Paul.
"Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, 13 March 1825, in the second year of our Pontificate."
AN OLD "SENIOR WARDEN'S TOAST"
This rollicking song is printed in "Ancient Freemasonry and the Old Dundee Lodge, No.
18, 1722-1920," which is reviewed on another page of this issue. Brother Heiron, the
author of that volume, gives a succint account of this curious song, on page 242 of his
book, as follows:
"This quaint form of 'Toast' has been proposed in 'Old Dundee' for many years past, but
no reference to its origin appears in our records; certain other old lodges also give it, but
when rendered by a lodge of recent creation it seems rather out of place; old customs
should grow up with a lodge, and not be introduced as a novelty. Brother Charles Gough,
L. R. (an ardent Masonic student), informs me that a very old Masonic drinking song,
known as the 'Senior Warden's Toast,' seems closely associated with this 'Secretary's
Toast,' the predominating sentiment in each being a fervid desire to drink to the health of
'The Mother of Masons.' This latter toast is ascribed to Brother Thos. Smith Webb (a
well-known American Mason), printed in Webb's 'Freemason's Monitor' (1821), the
expression 'Mother of Masons,' having been used by Lambert de Lintot in 1789; so it
may well be that 'Old Dundee' gave this toast over 100 years ago. My thanks are due to
Brother C. Gough for the above information and also for the following verses."
SENIOR WARDEN'S TOAST (1821)
Attend the call,
'Tis by command
You are all warn'd
To fill up a bumper and keep it in hand,
To drink to the "Mother of Masons."
Let each give the word to his brother,
To show that we love one another;
Let's fill to the dame
From whom we all came,
And call her "of Masons the Mother."
The Stewards have furnished us rations
To prove that we love our relations,
By toasting the dame
From which we all came-
We'll call her "The Mother of Masons."
In days of yore,
A Flask of Wine,
Of Mirth the sign,
And often they filled with the liquor divine
To drink to "The Mother of Masons."
'Twas on these joyful occasions
All charg'd, stood firm to their stations,
And toasted the dame
From whom we all came,
Repeating, "The Mother of Masons."
(Chorus) The Stewards, etc.
Be all prepar'd,
Each motion squar’d,
And at the nod
With one accord,
In strictest rotation we'll pass round the word,
Drink, drink to "The Mother of Masons."
Have a care, right and left, and make ready,
Be all in your exercise steady,
And fill to the dame
From whom we all came,
"The Mother of Masons," the Lady.
(Chorus) The Stewards, etc.
DEFINITION OF A FRIEND
What is a friend ? I will tell you. It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself. Your
soul can go naked with him. He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you
are. He does not want you to be better or worse. When you are with him you feel as a
prisoner feels who has been declared innocent. You do not have to be on your guard.
You can say what you think, express what you feel. He is shocked at nothing, offended at
nothing, so long as it is genuinely you. He understands those contradictions in your
nature that lead others to misjudge you. With him you breathe freely. You can take off
your coat and loosen your collar. You can avow your little vanities and envies and hates
and vicious sparks, your meanness and absurdities, and in opening them up to him they
are lost, dissolved in the white ocean of his loyalty. He understands. You do not have to
be careful. You can abuse him, neglect him, berate him. Best of all, you can keep still
with him. It make no matter. He likes you. He is like fire, that purifies all you do.
Through and underneath it all he sees, knows and loves - you. A friend, I repeat, is one
with whom you dare to be yourself. - Dr. Frank Crane.
O Thou who lovest not alone
The swift success, the instant goal,
But hast a lenient eye to mark
The failures of the inconsistent soul,
Consider not my little worth-
The mean achievement, scamped in act,
The high resolve and low result,
The dream that durst not face the fact:
But count the reach of my desire;
Let this be something in Thy sight-
I have not, in the slothful dark,
Forgot the vision and the light.
Neither my body nor my soul
To earth's low ease will yield consent;
I praise Thee for my will to strive,
I bless Thy goad of discontent.
- Charles G.D. Roberts.
THE TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
The following paper is one of a series of articles on "Philosophical Masonry," or “The
Teachings of Masonry," by Brother Haywood, to be used for reading and discussion in
lodges and study clubs - From the questions following each section of the paper the study
club leader should select such as he may desire to use in bringing out particular points for
discussion. To go into a lengthy discussion on each individual question presented might
possibly consume more time than the lodge or study club may be able to devote to the
study club meeting.
In conducting the study club meetings the leader should endeavor to hold the discussions
closely to the tenet of the paper and not permit the members to speak too long at one time
or to stray onto another subject. Whenever it becomes endent that the discussion is turning
from the original subject the leader should request the members to make notes of the
particular points or phases of the matter they may wish to discuss or inquire into and bring
them up after the last section of the paper is disposed of.
The meetings should be closed with a "Question Box" period, when such questions as may
have come up during the meeting and laid over until this time should be entered into and
discussed. Should any questions arise that cannot be answered by the study club leader or
some other brother present, these questions may be submitted to us and we will endeavor
to answer them for you in time for your next meeting.
Supplemental references on the subjects treated in this paper will be found at the end of
PART III - THE IDEA OF TRUTH IN FREEMASONRY
A CANDIDATE enters the Masonic lodge room in thick darkness. There is no light
within him, and there is none about him. His progress from station to station is in quest
of illumination; he passes from degree to degree seeking more light: when at last the
scales fall from his eyes, and the illumination comes, the whole lodge greets the climax
with a battery of exclamation. The sun, the moon and the stars move through the
symbolism of the three degrees as they pass through the houses of the sky. References to
daybreak and dusk, to midnight and to the meridian day, are omnipresent throughout the
ritual. Learned men debate with each other concerning the origins of this element in our
symbolism, many believe it has descended to us from the Light Religions of the ancient
world, be that as it may, all Masons understand that light is nothing other than the
symbol of truth and knowledge, and the prevalence of that symbolism is an indication of
the importance to be attached to truth and knowledge in any study of the greater
teachings of the Fraternity.
Can you remember any "light symbolisms" not mentioned in the paper? Can you name
two of the "Light Religions" of "the ancient world"? Why do you suppose, did ancient
man worship the sun, moon, and stars? Can you find any traces of this early worship in
the Bible? Why did "light" come to be taken as the symbol of Truth?
William Preston, to whom the Craft is so much indebted, and who largely shaped the
Second degree as we now have it, believed it to be the chief end of Masonry to instil
wisdom and convey knowledge. Under his hand the lodge became a school room; the
Master, a teacher; the candidate, a pupil. In more or less orderly fashion a whole system
of learning was set forth, ranging from the five senses to the fine arts, and it was made
abundantly clear that no man can remain a genuine Mason who holds truth lightly or
chooses to remain in ignorance. The liar and the ignoramus may somehow get into
Masonry, but no Masonry can get into them.
There is a difference between "truth" and "knowledge," it goes without saying, and that
difference is not often lost to sight by the ritual, but on the whole our system uses the two
words interchangeably. Truth is sought for the sake of life. We human beings are set in
the midst of a world every element of which is ceaselessly influencing us. Nature is not
an inert background, but a system of positive forces; the sun warms us; the rain falls on
us; our existence is bound up with natural processes. Other human beings impinge upon
us, their lives interacting with ours. In our own selves, in our mind, body, emotions,
volitions, forces are tirelessly at play. A human being cannot stand immovable and
uninfluenced in the midst of life as a rock stands in the wash of the tide. His life goes on
every moment influencing and being influenced. And life is full and rich, happiness
comes, when we so understand ourselves, and the world, and the forces of nature, that we
harmoniously adjust ourselves thereto. The report of what nature, the world, life really
are, that is truth; and the items of information which we need to have in order to know
the truth, that is knowledge. A wise man desires truth and seeks knowledge, not in order
to pose as a scholar or a learned man, but in order that he may live happily.
What was William Preston's conception of the lodge? Was there a public school system
in England in his day? What is the difference between "truth" and "knowledge?" How
would you define "truth?" Do you agree with the definition hinted at in the paper? Do we
seek "truth" for "truth's" sake or for "life's"? What is the connection between truth and
How a man finds knowledge is a matter of comparative indifference; he may leam from
books, or he may never read a page; he may attend school or not; he may gain
information by himself or from a master. That is for the man's own choosing, and
Masonry offers no recipe for an education. But enlightenment is a thing every Mason
stands pledged to seek, and seek it he must if he is to be a Mason in fact as well as in
Do you believe that it is a Masonic duty to seek knowledge? Why? Are you seeking
knowledge? How? What effect would it have on your lodge if all its members were well
educated men? Would it make for the unity, harmony, and therefore the happiness of its
members? Can you think of a legitimate excuse for ignorance? If a poor little negro like
Booker Washington, too nondescript even to know his own name or birthday, could earn
a splendid education while working in a coal mine, couldn't every man do as much,
barring ill health?
From the point of view of Masonry, ignorance is a Sin. Usually a man excuses himself
for his ignorance by saying, "I had no opportunities. I have had to work since a child. I
could not go to school." This self-justification is a fallacy all through, not only because
many men have won a schooling in spite of poverty, but because one may gain an
education without going to school at all. We have night schools, free public libraries,
daily papers, magazines, cheap books, and countless agencies which fairly beg men to
leam. Moreover, if a man is not content to remain in ignorance, he can always leam
from experience, observation, and from his work. Considering how ample are the
opportunities to leam knowledge and truth, there is no excuse for ignorance, and the only
reason for it is that a man is too lazy, or prefers darkness to light. Usually it is his
indolence that is to blame. Ignorance is sin.
I recently asked of the manager of a considerable business enteiprise, "From which do
you suffer the most, the dishonesty of your employees, or their general ignorance,
indifference, stupidity?" "What we suffer from their dishonesty," he replied, "is as
nothing from what we lose by their lack of knowing how to work, and knowing this
business. Deliver me from the ignorance of the majority of men. Business suffers a
thousand times more from stupidity than from dishonesty!" The whole world suffers
from men's ignorance. Children grow up diseased and unhappy because mothers and
fathers undertook a family without learning anything about the right care of children.
The same children leave school with half-taught minds because so few school teachers
understand teaching. They embark in business and found families of their own through
which to perpetuate their own lack of knowledge, and thus does the world go on.
Ignorance is a sin because of the unhappiness it causes inhuman life. It is a good thing
for a great institution like the church to wage its war on viciousness and deliberate
wrong. It is equally a good thing for a great institution like our Fraternity to make war
on that mental darkness which breeds quite as much evil in the world as the conniptions
Do you believe that "ignorance is a sin"? What does our ritual teach concerning this? In
what way is it a sin? Do you believe that the Great War would have happened if had not
been in such ignorance concerning Frenchmen, and Englishmen, and Americans, and
vice versa? Would the politicians of the world be able to deceive the masses so easily if
those masses knew more about history and about the world as it now is? In what way
would widespread knowledge make for human peace?
Truth must be sought for. It is not an entity lying outside us, like a boulder on the path,
but a living and changing thing, which must evermore be possessed anew, a fact which is
so hauntingly bodied forth in our legend of the Lost Word, and our search therefor. And
each man must win it for himself, such is the law, for it is not a commodity which can be
handed by one man to another, though there are countless ways in which we can help
each other to find the light. The institution which supposes itself to have discovered all
truth, and to have it neatly organized into a creed, which may be received from it
secondhand, as one may receive a legacy, is an institution that is deceiving itself and its
followers. No institution has captured the whole truth; none ever can. No man can come
into possession of the light by signing his name to a creed. Masonry has no creed. For
each one of us men the truth is as a word that is lost, and each of us must himself go in
search for it.
When Charles Darwin called our attention to a whole set of new facts about the
development of living beings hosts of men turned on the great naturalist with revellings.
They had already made up their minds about the origin of life. They were hoodwinked
by their own theories. The man who makes up his mind about a thing before he has
learned sufficient about that thing is a man that wears a blindfold and cannot see the
truth. To be open minded; to be willing both to learn and unlearn; to be glad to revise
one's old theories in order to conform to newly learned facts; and not to be afraid to
depart from the crowd on its beaten path if the light leads in new directions - all this is
necessary if one is to be a tmthseeker, and it is all suggested to us by the symbol of the
A man must free himself if he is to find light; also must be glad and willing that others be
equally free. If I must have a free mind then, by token of the same requirements, my
neighbour must have a free mind, and I shall be glad to give him the rights of a free
mind, unless I am a fool and a bigot. This is toleration. Toleration does not mean that
one idea is as good as another, or that one truth is as important as another. Neither does
it mean (this should be thrice underscored) that one is indifferent to all ideas or theories
as though it matters not what men believe. When toleration lapses into a mere
indifference it becomes a vicious thing. The real meaning of toleration is, When a man
goes in search of his Lost Word, let him choose his own path, and place no obstacles
But it has a greater meaning than that. The greater truths are always too vast to be won
by a single mind; always must a group of thinkers work together in a close corporation.
Toleration means that every such group be left free in its endeavours. It is just here that
one finds the church's most frequent crimes of intolerance. When Vesaluis and his
Renaissance contemporaries were working to discover the facts about the human body
the church hampered them and thwarted them at every turn. The same thing happened to
the geographers who explored and mapped the earth; to Newton and his colleagues who
built up the silence of physics; to DesCartes and his contemporaries in philosophy; to
Paracelsus and his successors in medicine, and to Charles Darwin and the group of
nineteenth century biologists of whom he was chief. The same thing is happening today
to the group of sociologists who are trying to learn the truth about the structure of human
society. It is bad enough when some individual is forbidden to think for himself, but it is
far worse, it looms up as a crime against the race, when the race's own best thinkers,
scientists, inventors, investigators, are prevented from carrying out in action that work
from which alone we can learn the truth about ourselves and the world.
Mankind can never discover the whole of truth. Always and always it opens before us,
like an ever-receding goal; and evermore must we continue to seek it, even as the
Masonic candidate, helped in such ways as is possible, and amid many obstacles,
gradually through the darkness makes his "progress" from station to station, from degree
to degree, seeking light, and more light, and that mystic Word which is truth itself.
How is truth found? How do you know a thing to be true? What does the ritual teach
about the nature of truth? What does the hoodwink suggest about the reasons for man
not finding the truth? What is meant by a "prejudice"? How does it prevent our finding
the truth? What is toleration?
Mackey's Encyclopedia - (Revised Edition):
Free, The Word, p. 280; Free and Accepted, p. 281; Free Bom, p.281; Freedom, p. 281;
Freedom, Fervency and Zeal, p. 281; Freemason, p. 281; Free Will and Accord, p. 284;
The Letter G, p. 287; Hoodwink, p. 336; Landmarks, p. 421. Herein are laid down the
bounds wherein a Freemason may confidently walk assured of his accordance thereby
with the definitions generally accepted for his guidance. Library, p. 445; Light, p. 446;
Lights, Greater, p. 447; Symbol, p. 751; Symbol, Compound, p. 752; Symbolic Degrees,
p. 752; Symbolism, The Science of, p. 754; Toleration, p. 789.
OUR STUDY CLUB PLAN
"The Bulletin Course of Masonic Study," of which the foregoing paper by Brother
Haywood is a part, was begun in THE BUILDER early in 1917. Previous to the
beginning of the present series on "Philosophical Masonry," or "The Teachings of
Masonry," as we have titled it, were published some forty- three papers covering in detail
"Ceremonial Masonry" and "Symbolical Masonry" under the following several divisions
"The Work of a Lodge," "The Lodge and the Candidate," "First Steps," "Second Steps,"
and "Third Steps." A complete set of these papers up to January 1st, 1921, are obtainable
in the bound volumes of THE BUILDER for 1917, 1918, 1919 and 1920, and the
remaining papers of the series may be had in the 1921 bound volume which will be ready
for delivery early in December. Single copies of 1921 back numbers are not obtainable,
our stock having become exhausted.
Following is an outline of the subjects covered by the current series of study club papers
by Brother Haywood:
THE TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
General Introduction. - A. Reasons for a course explaining what the "teachings of
Masonry" mean. - B. How one can arrive at his own Philosophy of Masonry. -
Conclusion. The Philosophy of Masonry is not a study of philosophy in general, but a
study of Masonry such as a philosopher gives to any great intellectual problem.
1. - The Masonic Conception of Human Nature.
2. - The Idea of Truth in Freemasonry.
3. - The Masonic Conception of Education.
4. - Symbolism.
5. - Secrecy.
6. - Masonic Ethics.
7. - Democracy.
8. - Equality.
9. - Liberty.
10. - Masonry and Industry.
11. - The Brotherhood of Man.
12. - The Fatherhood of God.
13. - Endless Life.
14. - Brotherly Aid.
15. - Schools of Masonic Philosophy.
This systematic course of Masonic study has been taken up and carried out in monthly
and semi-monthly meetings of lodges and study clubs all over the United States and
Canada, and in several instances in lodges overseas.
The course of study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information, THE
BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopaedia.
HOW TO ORGANIZE AND CONDUCT STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
Study clubs may be organized separate from the lodge, or as a part of the work of the
lodge. In the latter case the lodge should select a committee, preferably of three "live"
members who shall have charge of the study club meetings. The study club meetings
should be held at least once a month (excepting during July and August, when the study
club papers are discontinued in THE BUILDER), either at a special communication of
the lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular communication at which no business
(except the lodge routine) should be transacted - all possible time to be devoted to study
After the lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should
turn the lodge over to the chairman of the study club committee. The committee should
be fully prepared in advance on the subject to be discussed at the meeting. All members
to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with
their material, and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Haywood's paper
by a previous reading and study of it.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
1. Reading of any supplemental papers on the subject for the evening which may have
been prepared by brethren assigned such duties by the chairman of the study club
2. Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper.
3. Discussion of this section, using the questions following this section to bring out
points for discussion.
4. The subsequent sections of the paper should then be taken up and disposed of in the
5. Question Box. Invite questions on any subject in Masonry, from any and all brethren
present. Let the brethren understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit
and enlightenment and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they may be
able to think of. If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them,
send them in to us and we will endeavor to supply answers to them in time for your next
study club meeting.
The foregoing information should enable study club committees to conduct their
meetings without difficulty. However, if we can be of assistance to such committees, or
any individual member of lodges and study clubs at any time such brethren are invited to
feel free to communicate with us.
LRANKLIN lives in the memory of the people as the incarnation of Poor Richard, whose
one message, abiding and important, was of the value and beauty of thrift. The doctrine
of "Early to bed and early to rise," of "Save the pence and the pounds will take care of
themselves," and such other homely truths, was Lranklin's chiefest gospel to his age; it is
a gospel even more badly needed by this age, for, despite the incalculable increase of
wealth, of natural resources, of means of wringing gold from niggard nature, and of
distributing it, the counter habits of extravagance, luxury, and spendthrift have rotted
away the character of countless men and women, especially in the cities, where the value
of the dime is a forgotten thing.
To Lranklin the habit of saving was nothing dark or dour, but a source of the beauty and
joy of life. That was his original insight into the real character of thrift. The Puritans had
been taught often enough the necessity for cutting their bread thin, and for going without,
The Quakers had almost veered over to the doctrines of asceticism, so hard were they on
the flesh, so insistent on the virtue of self-denial, as witness the experience of Whittier,
who as a boy was so often exposed to the weather for lack of sufficient clothing that he
was made an invalid for life. The Colonists of the eighteenth century, taken as a whole,
and not as Quakers or Puritans, were for the most part bitter stmgglers against poverty
and the lean wolves of hunger. To the Puritans, Quakers, and to most of them, thrift
meant something stem, harsh, a necessary evil.
Lranklin saw differently. To him it meant freedom from worry about the future; it meant
money for the things of abiding value, a cheerful hearth, a home, friends, and books; it
meant character, and character always means happiness; it meant having a margin of
leisure about one's life. The spendthrift has none of these things, but is harassed
constantly after the brief spasm of pleasure derived from his fling has worn out its quick
flames: he is fearful of the morrow, ashamed of the past, and can not gaze steadfastly
into the accusing eyes of his friends. To be thrifty in order to subdue the body, and do
despite to the present world, and the life that now is, that was the Puritan theological
justification of the doctrine of "doing without"; to be thrifty in order the better to enjoy
the life that now is, and the better to care for the body, and to have more to do with, that
was Franklin's interpretation.
Franklin was right. Thrift has its meaning in the terms of money, that is true; it means
that we are to save all we can; to get as much use out of what we have as possible; and to
so spend that we receive the greatest possible returns. But what is money ? A dollar in
itself is useless, and can not be worn, eaten, or sold; its value lies in the power wrapped
up in it whereby a man can secure anything he wishes up to a certain limit. A dollar may
mean a night at the opera, or flowers for the sick, or a missionary gift, or a means of
assisting a friend, or clothes for one's child, food for the table, a roof-tree for a family.
There is nothing base or sordid about a dollar for it is useless as a material thing. It is so
much power locked up, which a man may translate into the happiness of life.
To be thrifty is a moral thing, a root of solid character, a source of the increasement of
life. Coverdale was wrong when he wrote that "The entrance into immortal thrift is
through loss of transitory things." The wealth that rust cannot corrupt, or moths destroy,
is not to be set in opposition to "immortal thrift." A dollar may add to the wealth of the
soul, because it may be translated into those things that feed the soul. If a man is wise to
understand the fine art of daily living he can learn, as did Franklin, who was a wise
Master Builder of life, a true Freemason of the spirit, that thrift means peace of mind,
clearness of conscience, security for the future, and ability to share with others in the
mutual sociality of life. When thus understood frugality may be described as Bunyan
described it, "a thrift of the soul."
THE ROMAN CATHOLICISM AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS
"A good deal of fault has been found recently with the liberal - or perhaps I should say
lavish - scale of remuneration adopted by the League of Nations. Personally, I do not
object to Sir Eric Drummond receiving 10,000 pounds a year as salary, and although I
think that the chair given to the office boy need not always have been quite so
luxuriously upholstered, there is another and stronger ground for criticism, and I believe
it is also very often at the back of the mind, adding bite to the bark of the objector. Sir
Eric Drummond is a member of the Roman Catholic Church, and the influence of that
Church has been used consistently, in Europe at any rate, against republicanism, and
democracy. We may have the highest respect for the Roman Church as a religious
establishment, but we can not blind ourselves to the fact that as a political power she is a
menace to the liberties that we hold most sacred, and it is exceedingly unfortunate that
the League of Nations should have hopelessly prejudiced herself in the eyes of a large
body of respectable and responsible Englishmen by appointing as its chief official a
member of that community. Some of us fear that in proportion as Sir Eric Drummond is
true to his Church he will be untrue to the democratic idea which must be the mainspring
of the League's activities or it is undone."
This paragraph, written by its Speeial English Correspondent, appeared in The
Universalist Leader for March 5th, last. It is reprinted here as a typical utterance of a
large minority in England who have reasons other than political for disliking the League
No American, least of all an American Mason, will quarrel with Sir Eric Drummond for
being a Roman Catholic: neither will he quarrel with Roman Catholics for rejoicing that
one of their number has been exalted to what may become in time the supreme honor of
the world. But there are many Americans, Masons and non-Masons, who look with
suspicion upon the prominent part played in the League of Nations by a religious
organization that has always sought political power along with religious prestige, and
that now, as in the days of the Holy Roman Empire, would love to have the political and
spiritual powers of the earth under its own undivided control. THE BUILDER has been
in favor of some kind of a League of Nations from the beginning but it hopes that if such
a League becomes a permanent fact its management will lie in the hands of men who
sincerely believe in the very principles that alone justify the danger of such a gigantic
A CONTEMPORARY writer recently announced his lamentations over the news that a
multitude of visiting writers and lecturers from abroad would come to these shores
during the coming winter. His observations were indeed quite pertinent and based chiefly
on the supposition that these foreign visitors had lucrative ends in view, and many would
probably return to their various countries with the set puipose of inteipreting America to
their fellow countrymen, which interpretation, our genial friend feared, would too often
be erroneous. Past experience with such itinerants affords no little ground in arriving at
such a conclusion.
Many who came into our midst in the past, and whose ultimate reports were so colorful
of their own impressions, rarely succeeded in giving us anything like fair treatment. It
was felt frequently that they were afflicted with indigestion, for their writings too often
revealed a restricted view, which but emphasizes the possibility of concluding that as one
feels physically so does he write. If, unfortunately, the visitors came at the time of some
mob demonstration in the city, or were privileged to take a pilgrimage to slum or stock
yard, it might be expected that a predominance of slum and cattle would color their
reports. Few indeed, have there been who, coming to us as visitors, have been endowed
with that capacity to look at things impartially, or on the other hand, gain the American
idea of things by viewing them through our own eyes, and unless such complimentary
attitudes are seen to be the properties of the visitors, it may be safely presumed that their
study will be very much one-sided.
Fortunately there are exceptions to such caustic or lopsided visitors as are here referred
Recently there came a man to these shores who apparently has the superior gift of
discernment, as well as possessing the power to judge of moral values, for he has
succeeded in making such observations as are eminently notable and worth while: the
English publicist, W.F. George. His book entitled "Hail Columbia," published by Harper
and Brothers, New York, N. Y., carries the rather humorous subtitle: "Random
impressions of a Conservative English Liberal." And yet, from what is known of Mr.
George, it is not altogether an inaccurate description.
It can not but be felt that in some ways Mr. George is too humorously satirical.
Especially noticeable is this when after visiting Chicago he leaves the city quoting one of
the estimable mayor’s lucid advertisements of the city quoting one of the estimable
mayor’s lurid advertisements of the city. “Boost Chicago! We lead the world as a rail
center! Forty-seven roads! A train a minute!” “It is with reluctance,” says Mr. George
after quoting this, “this I part from Chicago and its major. They go together. Balzac
would have been interested in them."
His estimation of New York, with his dilations about its being too large for real pride,
brings to mind another book entitled "London Days," by an Englishman, Arthur Warren,
and published by Fisher-Unwin. Some of the things in this book about London are
acutely indicative of the transformation of the old order to the new. "London," says our
author, "was a more livable place in the seventies than it is now, ... we were not in a
hurry then, and there was more consideration for the old and the lame than there is now.
The telephone was unknown. The smart hansom disappeared long ago." "It seems a
dream," he proceeds, "that when I first entered an English train the custom was for the
guards to call 'take your time, take your time'; but that was their call forty years ago.
Gradually the cries have lessened in variety, in character, in interest. The silk hat was a
sign of respectibility. In summer time straw hats were unknown except for the sex that
was gentler. Then that sex wore furs with their straws."
It is interesting to read a book of one who writes of London in the seventies, at the time
there is visiting our shores an Englishman who is such a careful observer and a just
appraiser, - one who gives assurance that his judgment will not be superficial or racy.
The London of the seventies certainly was not the London of today, and it should be
impressed upon our visitors that the New York and Boston of the same period were
much unlike in character to the New York and Boston of today. The impartial witness
will testify to something analogous in the evolution of the cities of both countries. Only
one step further is required to appreciate the almost complete transformation of both
countries as a whole since the days of the seventies. The efficiency and pragmatic mania
had not yet gripped the world with the compelling urge to do everything in a feverish,
anxious way, even to the enjoyment of social or friendly intercourse. It might be asserted
of America that it was almost proverbial that the hospitality enjoyed in farm homes was
usually terminated with the reminder that the latch string was always on the outside, and
a hearty welcome would be in store for them, should they choose to make a future visit.
"Come again," were likely the last words to resound on the ear of the departing friend.
Today, however, we fearfully suspect that too frequently this hearty invitation is
terminated in undertones with some such utterance as "don't stay so long."
He who is desirous of catching the old friendliness of American homes as they are
displayed in east and south and west can do no better than give a retreading of Joel
Chandler Harris' Sister Jane, Henry Ward Beecher's Norwood, and certain portions of
Hamlin Garland's Son of the Middle Border. An old America, one that was rich and
dignified and abounding in friendliness, is seen through these pages. While considering
these two older novels with so much of philosophic richness and artistic beauty and the
delineations of character that commends itself so persistently one can not refrain from
suggesting their re-reading, as an effective antidote for so much of the mono-maniac
scribblings that are marketed today under the name of American novels. There is
certainly an absence of that analytical method which resolves nearly all men into the
classes of geniuses, maniacs, or fools.
Returning to Mr. George it is noteworthy to observe that he finds but very few real
aristocrats of the old school left in our midst. It is a tender tribute that he offers to those
who are "charming, courtly, cultured." Of those who remain he says, "they are only
shadows. They are the end, and upon their graves can be inscribed as a parody of
Kosciusko - 'Finis Bostonia.'"
What these foreign observers have to say about us is indeed highly provocative, and
probably ought to serve as a prompter to retrospection, unless it be that we have lost all
sense of humility and are unwilling to be criticized by those who, while differing from
us, yet admire us greatly.
Let us consider the reflections of a Chinese observer on our lack of having produced in
this country a real Gentle Man. Of course, it is well that we should endeavor to find out
precisely what the author means, and in this case it rests upon a conception that our
national effort has not been for the acquisition of gentleness as a national asset, and that
as yet we possess no civilization, which, according to this acute yet friendly observer, is
a spiritual quality which lives whether the nation that possesses it dies or not. Culture
that is distinctive of us as a people, he asserts, has not yet been attained. While admiring
our numbers and our strength he views us as a people with scant spiritual possessions,
whose literary lights at best are but able rhetoricians and whose philosophers,
preeminently among whom stands Emerson, are not really comparable to the great
illuminating geniuses of other peoples. Poe's Annabel Lee, according to his knowledge
of American literature, would stand out alone as a pure lyrical expression distinctively
American and the attainment of the greatest heights by consummate genius. This is a
dogmatic assertion (be it marked) of our Chinese critic that will naturally elicit suiprise
in the minds of those who are learned in American verse.
It is refreshing though, to find ourselves examined in a friendly, even though it be a
critical way, and to leam thereby what those abroad regard as our spiritual deficiencies,
and especially when it comes from the Orient, toward which our custom too frequently
has been to look in rather a condescending manner. Delineations of the older school of
American aristocrats and gentlemen but serve to bring into more vivid outline certain of
the aggressive tendencies of today that occupy the mind of the vast majority. While the
idea that strength or power should be the last word in the aspirations of men, is
repudiated, it yet remains an all-compelling and dominant keynote to the major portion
of our activities. A leisurely London, a scholarly Boston, a South full of courtesy and
chivalry, all these are somewhat mythical to the modern mind. A retrospective glance,
however, that would revive for us the older customs and idealisms for comparison with
our aims and ambitions in this chaos-neurotic time and generation ought to do much
toward our redemption.
Of whom can we say today, in America, save Lincoln, as Carlyle said of Shakespeare,
that "He is the grandest thing which the British people have yet done." But Lincoln was
the epitome and apothesis of an older generation.
Ponderous and weighty and worthy of reflection as the possible standard for governing
nations are these words from an old Japanese soldier, in speaking to his grandson:
"Remember, the way to govern an empire is to have a gentle and tender heart," which is
but a reutterance of a yet more ancient pronouncement found in the Old Testament: "Thy
gentleness hath made me great."
Since the day of Huxley science has been pronounced by a large group of able thinkers
as the panacea for all ills, individual and social. Spencer enhanced the idea of education
as the salvable factor for the race. Then later the Furor Teutonicus with its exaggerated
conception of culture, buoyed up by its twin pillars of physical strength and militaristic
power, became the possession of a powerful nation, only to hasten its doom rather than
elevate it as an exemplary prototype for future nations. That something more than
culture, education or science is needed to lift the world upward and to stave off the
perilous doom that avowedly threatens us, is a reasonable conclusion, if history has any
warrant for teaching. But history, as Hegel said, only shows that men usually leam
nothing from history, which is but a pessimistic way after all of facing our problems.
America's power of redemption is unquestionable. Its very vastness, its wonderful
natural resources, its promising peoples with the many idealisms represented surely
warrants the ultimate rising toward the stars. Our saddest and most obstinate adversary is
our unwillingness to learn from each other or understand each other. We must focus our
attention upon the acquisition of that gentleness that makes men great and that makes for
righteousness that exalteth a nation.
For the moment I can not but recall the death scene in the final pages of The Newcomes,
Thackeray's immortal work. It was the passing of a gentleman of the old school, one who
stands out preeminently and one who will eternally have the acclaim of civilized peoples
as being the epitome of a gentleman. "At the usual evening hour the chapel bell began to
toll and Thomas Newcome's hands outside the bed feebly beat time, and just as the last
bell struck, a peculiar sweet smile shone over his face and he lifted his head a little and
quickly said 'adsum' and fell back. It was the word we used at school when names were
called, and lo! he whose heart was as that of a little child had answered to his name and
stood in the presence of the Master." No wonder, indeed, that Thackeray is reported to
have wept after he had put the finishing touches to his wonderful character portrayal in
It would seem that our genial and observant Englishman, W.L. George, was a little sad
when he left our shores. That he regards America as a land of promise is noteworthy, but
that he would miss those things that only antiquity and long generations of cultural
practice can institute is easily seen. Let me quote one of his concluding paragraphs: "As I
come to the end of these impressions I wish they could have been conclusions, but five
months in a country is not much, however broadly one may have traveled in it, whatever
labor one may have given to the understanding of many kinds of men. One is confronted
with such diversity, such contrasts, and especially such novelty. So I will let conclusions
alone and say just this: I am too old to change. I could not with content migrate to
America, there to live, to adjust myself to new attitudes, new laws and customs. I am too
set, too European for that; a certain disabused geniality, which is the foundation of
Europeanism, would suffer in the breeziness, the directness of America. But if I had to
be born again, as I was bom, of a family that had no influence worth anything, no
money, no lineage if I had to make my way again, as I had to, against difficulties such
that at the age of 25 all I possessed was $100 of debts, well, ... in spite of all
temptations to belong to other nations I should have felt that there was only one place for
a young man who wanted to tear from life full value for his efforts; in spite of all
temptations I should have been born in America."
Mathew Arnold once visited our shores. He whose criticisms were so keen and
penetrating. He knew us from a distance ere he came to us, and it would be a tmly
beneficial thing if those who are depending so much upon numbers would take down his
addresses in America and read over once or twice what this eminent Victorian has to say
about us. No less profitable would it be for those countries abroad, where the rights of
the proletariat is surfeited with such a multitude of illusions. Indeed, the addresses on
Numbers, or the Majority and the Remnant contain very able emphasis on the
serviceability and the prophetic destiny of the remnant always to save civilization.
History again is called into account and we are taken back to the days of Plato where we
hear the philosopher bitterly announcing his conception of what Arnold terms the most
gifted and pertinent community of the ancient world. "There is but a very small
remnant," says Plato, "of honest followers of wisdom, and they who are of these few, and
have tasted how sweet and blessed a possession is wisdom, and who can fully see,
moreover, the madness of the multitude, and that there is no one, we may say, whose
action in public matters is sound, and no ally for whosoever would help the just. 'What,'
asks Plato, 'are they to do?"' "They may be compared to a man who has fallen among
wild beasts; he will not be one of them, but he is too unaided to make head against them;
and before he can do any good to society or his friends, he will be overwhelmed and
perish uselessly. When he considers this, he will resolve to keep still, and to mind his
own bisiness; as it were standing aside under a wall in a storm of dust and hurricane of
driving wind; and he will endure to behold the rest filled with iniquity, if only he himself
may live his life clear of injustice and of impiety, and depart, when his time comes, in
mild and gracious mood, with fair hope."
Many eminent and good men in our political life are persistently leaving it for more
lucrative positions, a matter which is openly condemnatory, yet probably in Plato's
analysis of his own times, and specifically touching those who stood severly alone for
advancement of human interests, lies the generous apology for the action of these men.
Yet further quotations of Arnold from a Geman historian might be considered fittingly
appropriate for our own day. "The grandeur and loftiness of Attic democracy had
vanished, while all the pernicious germs contained in it were fully developed. A life of
comfort and a craving for amusement were encouraged in every way, and the interest of
the citizens was withdrawn from serious things. Conversation became more and more
superficial and frivolous. Famous courtesans formed the chief topic of talk."
History seems to be fepeating itself with a vengeance.
It is irritating to have persistently brought before us our deficiencies as a people, for our
attainments and greatness must be accounted for in some way.
Recently the papers of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (1) have been collected and it is
interesting to note the character of the great work in which he was engaged. He is of the
type of men, as a contemporary critic has pointed out, who is preeminently interested in
ideas, and a casual glance at these collected papers reveals a great conservative mind that
possesses something of the prophetic vision.
Likewise there is heralded before the American people two new books from the pen of
Henry Cabot Lodge. (2)
Historically, America has not had a preponderance of men of letters connected with the
shaping of her national destiny, but throughout her life, since the days of Thomas
Jefferson right down through the days of Daniel Webster to those of Roosevelt and
Wilson America has always had a small but formidable group of men of great learning in
political life, comparing favorably with any group of men of learning that have shaped
the destinies of other countries. Despite the fact that the word "politician" has frequently
been held up to scorn, presumably because of those filthy, lucrative office seekers whose
chief thinking seems to be in terms of pork barrels, we have always had a generous
proportion of men representing America in public life who have succeeded in keeping
the fealty of the people in a strict adherence to the principles of the Fathers upon which
the country was founded. The wisdom of the statesmen that has brought the United
States (in the vastest experiment within the knowledge of man) to the enviable position
as she enjoys today, if no other future achievement is possible, will make her gift to the
world as distinctive as the gifts of the other great nations who have preceded her in the
propounding of idealisms and impressing their peculiar gifts upon the world.
It is rather a premature moment to distinguish the real greatness of America and
America's gift to the world. But it is worthy of note that America has produced, in art
and letters, men who have become eminent teachers of the race.
What is necessary is the liberating of ourselves from those foreign innovations in our
intellectual life that have brought about a standard that is unquestionably inferior to the
standard whereby our forbears lived. Such a work as was penned by Professor Erskine of
Columbia when he wrote Democracy and Ideals, a book, by the way, that should be in
the possession of every Masonic library, proves that Americanism is a distinctive spirit,
and that the American people have an unrivaled mission to accomplish in the life of the
race, and that the great pre-requisite of her success is to live in conformity to that
instinctive spirit which alone is felt within her great confines.
- Robert Tipton.
(1) Collected Legal Papers, by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Published by Harcourt, Brace &
Co., New York, N. Y.
(2) The Pilgrims of Plymouth, by Henry Cabot Lodge, published by Houghton Mifflin
Company, Boston and New York, and The Senate of the United States, and Other Essays
and Addresses, by the same author, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York,
PUBLICATIONS WANTED, FOR SALE, AND EXCHANGE
We are constantly receiving inquiries from members of the Society and others as to
where they might obtain books on Masonry and kindred subjects, other than those listed
each month on the inside back cover of THE BUILDER. Most of the publications
wanted have been out of print for years. Believing that many such books might be in the
hands of other members of the Society willing to dispose of them we are setting apart
this column each month for the use of our members. Commurlications from those having
old Masonic publications will also be welcomed.
Postoffice addresses are here given that those interested may communicate direct with
each other, no responsibility of any nature to be attached to the Society.
It is requested that all brethren whose wants may be filled through this medium
communicate with the Secretary so that the notices may then be discontinued.
By Bro. George D. MacDougall, Grand Master, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada:
"History and Cyclopedia," by Oliver and Macoy; "A Concise Cyclopedia of
Freemasonry," by E. L. Hawkins; "Masonic Facts for Masons," by W. H. Russell; "Genius
of Freemasonry," by J. D. Buck; "The Traditions, Origin and Early History of
Freemasonry," by A. T. C. Pierson; "Illustrations of Freemasonry," by Wm. Preston; "The
Spirit of Freemasonry," by Wm. Hutchinson.
By Bro. Avery P. Lord, 637 Champlain St., Berlin, N. H., a copy of "The Universal
Masonic Directory," published in 1912 by the Fraternal Directory Company, of Cleveland,
By Bro. D. D. Berolzheimer, 1 Madison Ave., New York, N. Y.: "Realities of Masonry,"
Blake, 1879; "Records of the Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masons," Condor, 1894;
"Masonic Bibliography," Carson, 1873; "Origin of Freemasonry," Paine, 1811.
By Bro. E. A. Russell, 761 Linwood Place, St. Paul, Minn.” Symbolism East and West,"
Aynsles "The Gods of Egypt," Budge; “Dionysian Artificers,” Da Costa; “Studies in
Mysticism,” Waite; “The Cathedral Builders,” Scott; “Freemasonry and the Great
Pyramid," Holland, and "Egypt the Cradle of Freemasonry," De Clifford.
By Bro. Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin, "Catalogue of the Masonic Library of
Samuel Lawrence," "Second Edition of Preston's Illustrations of Masonry."
FOR SALE OR EXCHANGE
By Bro. Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin, "Stray Leaves from a Freemason's Note
Book," by George Oliver. This volume also contains "Some Account of the Schism
showing the presumed origin of the Royal Arch Degree." Univ. Mas. Lib. edition. Price
$3.00. "Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry," by Robert Morris. (Fiction and anecdotes.)
By Bro. Nelson L. Finch, Broadalbin, N. Y.:
"The History of Freemasonry," by Robert Freke Gould. The London edition, six volumes,
4to cloth, full gilt, 1884. Price $16.50.
"Discourse on Masonry," by Thaddeus Mason Harris, D.D., 1801. Price $5.00.
"Tales of Masonic'Life," by Robert Morris, 1860. Price $3.00
"Digest of Masonic Law," George W. Chase, 1859. Price $1.50.
"Practical Masonic Lectures," by Samuel Lawrence, 1874 Price $2.00.
THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors
writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions Believing that a unity
of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not
champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all
alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own
After Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society
at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our
members, particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are following our
"Bulletin Course of Masonic Study." When requested, questions will be answered
promptly by mail before publication in this department
THE GOLDEN FLEECE AND ROMAN EAGLE
Sometime ago the question came up in lodge as to what were the orders of the Roman
Eagle and the Golden Fleece that were used as a comparison to Masonry. The question
was left unanswered and I was detailed to report on it.
Being unable to find anything on these subjects that was more than the general outline of
Knighthood I have failed to get material that is at all interesting and therefore come to you
and would ask that if you have anything you could give me on the subject I would indeed
be obliged to you.
C. W. J., Nebraska.
The Order of the Golden Fleece was established in Flanders by Phillip the Good, Duke of
Burgundy, Count of Flanders, etc., on the occasion of his wedding in the year 1429. He
selected the Golden Fleece as the emblem of the new chivalric order in recognition of the
staple product of his country, which was wool; and adopted as a motto: "Not to be
condemned in the product of labor."
It is said that this was the first time that labor or any of its products had been accorded
heraldic honors. The standards of the order were of the highest and its knights were
required to be "gentlemen of name and of arms and without reproach."
The eagle among the Romans of the empire was the ensign of Imperial power. The Order
of the Star was an almost obsolete knightly order which John, King of France, received
in 1351, in imitation of the Order of the Garter, which Edward III is supposed to have
established in England some eight years earlier, or about 1843. The tradition of the
Garter is too well known to need recounting. The order still remains the highest and
noblest that a British soverign con confer upon a subject.
The Masonic apron, coming to us from most remote antiquity, may truly be said to be
"more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle," and when worthily worn in the
service of modem speculative Masonry which aims at the construction of ideal temples
in the hearts of men, it is more honorable than any order of chivalry.
* * *
THE BUNKER HILL MONUMENT
When was the present Bunker Hill Monument erected, and by whom ? What
arrangement was made with the Masonic Fraternity at the time of its erection in
consideration of their giving or donating the site, and what participation did they have in
the ceremonies during the dedication of the new monument?
Any other information you may have that can be brief given regarding that particular
incident will be very grateful received.
O.T.M., New York.
The story of the Masonic Fraternity's participation in the Bunker Hill Monument
enteiprise may best be put in the shape of a brief narrative. In 1794 King Solomon's
Lodge, then the only Masonic lodge in Charlestown, erected a monument on the site of
the Battle of Bunker Hill. This monument consisted of a stone and brick pedestal eight
feet high bearing a plain Tuscan pillar of wood eighteen feet high terminating in a gilt
urn. One side of the pedestal bore a tablet with an inscription commemorative of the
battle. The cost of this monument was originally about one thousand dollars. The land
for the erection of this monument was given to King Solomon's Lodge by Hon. James
Russell of Charlestown. No deed of conveyance was ever recorded but the lodge held
undisturbed possession for about thirty years until the larger enterprise was undertaken.
The Masonic monument was not of a permanent nature and seemed hardly adequate for
the puipose designed. In 1 822 a portion of the land on which the battle was fought was
offered for sale. A number of prominent citizens of Massachusetts were aroused by this
fact to a realization of the importance of erecting a proper memorial of the battle and of
securing the land for that puipose. One of their number bought in the land at auction and
the group set about the formation of the Bunker Hill Monument Association. This
association was incoiporated by the Legislature of Massachusetts under date of June 7,
1823, and proceeded to solicit funds for the purchase of the land and the erection of the
monument. In a letter dated April 8, 1825, King Solomon's Lodge offered to the Bunker
Hill Monument Association the monument which they had erected and its appurtenances
and surrendered to them whatever rights King Solomon's Lodge might have under the
unrecorded gift of Russell, the understanding being that some memorial of the original
monument should be incoiporated in the new one. A considerable sum of money was
raised, the land was bought, and arrangements were made for the laying of the
cornerstone of the monument on the 17th of June, 1825. By invitation of the association
the cornerstone was laid in Masonic form by M.'.W.'. John Abbot, Grand Master of
Masons in Massachusetts, and the Grand Lodge. General LaFayette was present and
participated Masonically in the ceremonies. An account of the Masonic portion of the
observance may be found beginning on page 2 1 1 of the Massachusetts Proceedings for
1918. This account is copied from the original records of the Grand Lodge which have
not been printed for that period. The apron worn by LaFayette on that occasion is in
possession of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
After its first years of success the association found difficulty in raising funds, the work
languished and the unfinished monument began to suffer from exposure to the elements.
After some fifteen years, however, the activities of the association were renewed; this
time with success and the monument was dedicated on the 17th of June, 1843. The
Grand Lodge was not invited to assist in the ceremonies. King Solomon's Lodge was
invited and accepted the invitation and was accompanied by many members of other
lodges and of the Grand Lodge. (See Massachusetts Proceedings 1843, page 15).
When the monument was finally completed a model of the Masonic monument, properly
inscribed, was placed on view in the structure.
The monument was maintained by the association until within a few years. It has now in
accordance with a provision of the charter of the association passed into the care and
custody of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The matter for this sketch is derived partly from the Massachusetts Proceedings as
quoted, and partly from the History of the Bunker Hill Monument Association by George
Washington Warren, published by James R. Osgood & Company, Boston, 1877, and
from an anonymous contemporary pamphlet entitled "Memoirs of General Lafayette,
with an Account of his present Visit to this Country, and a description of his Tour
through the United States; and a detail of the Arrangements for the Celebration of the
17th June, and Laying the Comer Stone," published by E. G. House, No. 13 Merchants-
Hall, Boston, 1825.
Frederick W. Hamilton,
Grand Secretary, Massachusetts.
* * *
In looking over some back numbers of THE BUILDER I chanced upon the "Encyclical
Letter 'Humanum Genus' of the Pope Leo XIII." In it the Holy Father continually made
use of the word "naturalism." That is a word I can't find in my dictionary. Will you
please explain it?
B.R.T., South Carolina.
The article referred to appeared in THE BUILDER for November, 1919. The word
should properly be used to denote the tenets of a sect of modem philosophers of whom
Herbert Spencer is perhaps the most conspicuous name. If you care to look further into
this type of philosophy you will find it described and examined in "Naturalism and
Agnosticism," by James Ward; "The Realm of Ends," by the same writer; "The
Philosophical Basis of Theism," by Samuel Harris, and you will find a very brilliant
critique of it in Arthur Balfour's "Theism and Humanism."
The Pope did not use the word in such sense. He used it to denote all types of religion
and philosophy which rest on the basis of reason and experience rather than on divine
revelation, which latter he makes synonymous with Roman Catholicism. Roman
Catholicism, as inteipreted by the Pope, is based on the dogma that God once and for all
revealed Himself and those truths that are "necessary to salvation"; that this revelation
was made to and through a body of men known as the Roman Catholic church; that the
Pope is the head of this church; that every soul is in its keeping for mercy or for
condemnation; that it is therefore necessarily infallible, and that everything in this world
should come under its complete jurisdiction. What non-Romanists strive to reason out in
theology and philosophy were once and for all given to the Church by God Himself, and
since God gave them they are therefore infallible and are to be believed. When Pope Leo
spoke of "Christianity," of "superhuman," or "supernatural" religion it was Roman
Catholicism that he meant.
When he spoke of "naturalism" it was all forms of Protestantism, and all those
philosophies and theologies which ignore the dogma that God ever once and for all
revealed truth, that the Pontiff had in mind. In this sense "naturalism" holds that God is
not outside the world but in it; that God never did make a complete revelation of Himself
to anything or anybody; that man leams religious truth not from a revelation made
supernaturally but from experience, just as he leams the tmth about any of the sciences,
or anything else; that "salvation" comes by education; that all religions must be
examined and judged by the human reason; that all contain some tmth and some error;
that some may be truer than others, and that one can't say that any one religion is
absolutely true and all the others absolutely false; and that we must learn about God,
salvation, immortality, etc., as we learn about everything else, that is, from experience.
Neither the orthodox Protestant theologian nor any representative of the school of
Naturalism in philosophy would assent to so ambiguous a use of the word, but the Pope
had to use it ambiguously in order to make it cover so large a variety of ideas and
* * *
THE MASTER'S HAT
Why does the Master wear a hat?
G.I.R., Rhode Island.
This question has been often asked and answered in these columns. It will not hurt to
answer it again. In the days of the old English aristocracy deference was shown to
members of the higher classes in many ways, chief among which was the removal of the
hat. Accordingly, to lift or to remove one's hat became a sign of bowing to authority or to
one in higher station; and to leave the hat on, a sign of claiming authority, or of refusing
to bow to it. Recall how Fox refused to remove his hat in court, and many stories of
Quakers doing the same. It was perhaps as an echo from this long custom and social
symbolism that the Master of a Masonic lodge retained his hat, while other members of
the lodge removed theirs. In early lodges, many times, he also had before him a "sword
of state," also a symbol of his authority as governor of the lodge. In some parts of the
world the custom of wearing the hat has ceased: in this nation it is, so far as I know, in
* * *
Can you not give us a brief biography of Bro. Barton Smith, who, I hear, has just
announced his retirement from active duty as Sovereign Grand Commander of the
Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction? E.W.N., North Carolina.
A bare enumeration of the events, achievements, and honors of the Masonic career of
M.'.P.'. Barton Smith would completely fill this page. He was bom in Channahon, Will
County, Illinois; for many years his home has been at Toledo, Ohio, where, in Sanford L
Collins Lodge, No. 396, F. & A. M., he was made a Master Mason on June 13, 1876. In
the following year he was made Junior Deacon of his lodge, and his rise has been rapid
ever since. He took his Chapter and Council work in the York Rite in Toledo during the
years 1876, 1877. In the same city, by Toledo Commandery No. 7, he was created a
Knight Templar; and in Detroit Commandery No. 1, at Detroit, Michigan, was made a
Knight of Malta, in Febmary, 1880.
He became a member of Mi-A-Mi Lodge of Perfection, 14d, at Toledo, Ohio, December
18, 1881: a member of Northern Lights Council, P. of J. 16d, at Toledo, and a member of
Fort Industry Chapter Rose Croix 18d, at same place and date: he was made a member of
Ohio Consistory S.'.P.'.R.'.S.'. 32d, at Cincinnati, Ohio, Febmary 23, 1882.
He was made an Honorary 33rd of the Northern Jurisdiction at Providence, R.I.,
September 20, 1887; was crowned an Active Member of Supreme Council at Boston,
September 20, 1894; was appointed Deputy for State of Ohio, January 19, 1906. Upon
resignation of M.'.P.'. Samuel Crocker Lawrence he was made Sovereign Grand
Commander at Detroit, Michigan, September 22, 1910. He was elected Sovereign Grand
Commander at Boston, October 2, 1910; was reselected at Boston, September 22, 1915;
and again at Boston, September 18, 1918. Brother Smith announced his resignation at
Toledo last June.
The most exhaustive list of facts would fail to set forth the tale of achievements of this
veteran in Masonic service; as he retires, seeking refreshment after arduous labors, the
blessings of many go with him.
* * *
MATERIAL FOR MASONIC SERMONS
I am on the hunt for material for Masonic sermons. Can you help with such, or in any
C. F. McC., County Down, Ireland.
If you have access to the bound volumes of THE BUILDER (as we hope you have) turn
to these references:
"The Doctrine of Balance," Volume II, page 268; "The Geometry of God," Volume III,
page 75; "The Divine Geometry," Volume IV, page 159; "Studies in Blue Lodge
Symbolism," Volume V, page 135; "The Patriarchs," Volume II, page 67. The best mine
of materials, perhaps, will be found in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin; take it up in
the beginning and follow it through to the end of the Third degree: note especially the
sections on The Lost Word, Prayer, Eternal Life, and The Temple. In all the articles on
The Temple carried by THE BUILDER you will find much by way of inspiration and
suggestion for sermons.
From any good Masonic Library you should be able to borrow these books: "The Spirit
of Masonry," by Hutchinson; "The Builders," (last parts) by J.F. Newton; "Masonic
Sermons," by George Oliver; "The Religion of Freemasonry," by H.J. Whymper;
"Speculative Masonry," by A.S. MacBride; "The Mission of Masonry," by Madison
Peters, and nearly all the books, which are such excellent little manuals of their kind, by
Bro. J. T. Lawrence. For illustrative material you might turn to the works of Kipling; a
good Kipling handbook will direct you to the scores of references to Masonry in his
prose and poetry.
The typical doctrines of Masonry are The Fatherhood of God; the Brotherhood of Man;
the Immortality of the Soul; Charity; Toleration; the Universality of Truth. These, and
such other topics as The Bible in Masonry, Prayer in Masonry, Masonry and Morality,
should furnish you with abundant subjects whereon to speak.
IS THE BUILDER WRONG IN PUBLISHING THE TRUTH ABOUT ROMAN
In your letter acknowledging my subscription to THE BUILDER you have asked me to
express my opinion of your magazine. I do so not without hesitancy bom of a fear that
the spirit in which I write will be misunderstood. And yet, so deep is my interest in
Masonry that I feel I would be unworthy of that interest if I did not fully and f rankly
express to you some of the thoughts that dwell within me as I read the first two copies of
your very valuable and otherwise inspirational publication.
I note a tendency on the part of THE BUILDER, a tendency which is to me regrettable
because I do not see how it can benefit Masonry or aid in the ideal of an eventual
brotherhood of understanding not only among Masons but among all men. I refer to the
amount of space devoted in the May and June issues - the only ones I have seen - to
denunciation and controversy with those who happen to be of another religious faith than
that which endorses Masonry.
I hold no brief nor am I in any way interested, directly or indirectly, by relationship or
marriage, with the Roman Catholic faith; but I have a profound interest in Masonry and
its tremendous possibilities, and it distresses me to see those possibilities vitiated by the
engendering of suspicions and hatreds toward any class of people, whether they be
Roman Catholics or Lutherans or any other body which does not happen to approve of
I mean by this that, as I view it, the Great War has brought to the world but one spiritual
message: Men must either cooperate or fight. There can be no armed neutrality, no
balance of power with guns piled on guns and powder on powder. We must all attune our
minds to the friendly attitude of receptiveness rather than the repellant attitude of
suspicion. As it is with nations, so it must be with classes and with sects and with
individuals. We must all of us seek first for purity in our own hearts rather than for evil
in that of any other.
Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, whose eloquence first attracted me to THE BUILDER, said in a
recent address in Detroit: "Masonry is not the enemy of ANY religion, thank God; if it
were, I would not care to be associated with it."
I do not want to falsely accuse THE BUILDER; I only have seen two issues. I am
writing this to you confidentially and personally - if you so wish it - and if I am wrong I
know you will correct me. But I feel that you can at least bear with me in granting that
my suspicions on these two issues are well-founded, and from them one might be
privileged to gather the inference that THE BUILDER was waging a Masonic War on
the Catholic church.
Why should this be?
How does it help Masonry to stir up religious strife?
Is it not the fundamental tenet of Masonry that all men in the fraternity can hold to their
own religious views without quarrel? And if they are so privileged, then, why should we
go even outside our own order to quarrel with those of a different faith? Why, indeed,
other than because they do not endorse our order, do not believe in it and will not join it?
Is that any reason why we should hate them? The loss is theirs, not ours.
How much better would national unity and civic peace be served by presenting an article
explaining WHY the Catholic church does not believe in Masonry? Have it written by
some big, outstanding Roman Catholic scholar. The explanation is quite simple and
would be of interest to broad-minded Masons. The Roman Catholic church teaches that
it is the one true religion; therefore any
"There are abundance of men who tolerate in the true spirit of toleration. They think the
dogmas of religion, though in different degrees, are all of moment; and that amongst
them there is, as amongst things of value, a just ground for preference. They favour,
therefore, and they tolerate. They tolerate not because they despise opinions, but
because they respect justice. They would reverently and affectionately protect ALL
religions, because they love and venerate the great principles upon which they all agree,
and the great object to which they are all directed."
Is not this a reflection of what should be the all-pervading spirit of Masonry? Or must we
bow to that which is narrow in the human being and agree with George Bernard Shaw:
"It is not possible to make the ordinary moral man understand what toleration and liberty
really mean. He will accept them verbally with alacrity, even with enthusiasm, but what
he considers toleration is toleration of doctrines that HE considers enlightened, and, by
liberty, liberty to do what HE considers right; that is, he does not mean liberty or
toleration at all; for there is no need to tolerate what appears enlightened or to claim
liberty to do what most people consider right. TOLERATION AND LIBERTY HAVE
NO SENSE OR USE EXCEPT A TOLERATION OF OPINIONS THAT ARE
CONSIDERED DAMNABLE AND LIBERTY TO DO WHAT SEEM WRONG."
If Masonry means I must hate my brother man because through chance of birth, he is
raised in a religion different my own, then Masonry does not mean for me that which I
have always felt it did, and to me it is a useless thing. Religion I have always felt to be a
matter of conscience and I ask no man to swerve from the course his conscience dictates
to agree with me, even though I should regret his course and feel that mine were the
Why then this devotion of so much space to articles that can but create rancour in the
hearts of Masons against their fellowmen? Why feed the fires of bigotry by delving back
into the dim and horrid past for the dust-hidden deeds of men long dead?
You say (p. 120, May issue): "Its most ancient landmark is the recognition of, and belief
in, the existence of a Supreme Being. It was the deletion of this fundamental tenet on the
part of the Grand Orient of France and other jurisdictions, which led to the United Grand
Lodge of England and other Masonic bodies, to cease communication with them and to
prohibit intervisitation, which ban holds good to the present moment."
And so we are led to believe that these atheistic French Masons are taboo in our order.
Yet on page 118 you charge that only these atheistic Masons have ever done anything for
France for the past 100 years. You present a picture of American Masons in the A. E. F.
fraternizing with these outcast French brethren.
You feature a story in this article that French Roman Catholics believe Masons roast
little children and eat them; why seek out the wild stories of the bigots on either side?
Must we, who are still sane, lose our reason and get into a religious war because bigot, to
feed the venom of his hate, wars against bigot? Is it Masonic to hate blindly or is it
Masonic to love with understanding? Many a fool has made a martyr out of a madman.
For every bigot there is in the Roman Catholic church there seems to be found a bigot in
the Protestant faith to shriek a holy war, drowning out those sane voices on both sides
which counsel peace and understanding. How much more horror and bloodshed must
there be in this world before we can impress upon the unthinking that mankind must
either cooperate or fight - that there is no middle ground?
Why, for instance, dig down into the dust-covered archives of centuries past to parade
and keep alive the actions of some foolish man who happened at that time to be a Pope
of the Catholic church? The article by Dudley Wright, of England, amazes me. He haips
incessantly on bulls that were issued in 1737, 1738 and thereabouts. Must we of 1921
hate a living people for what happened in 1737? Brother Wright is an Englishman.
Would he have the Masonic brethren of America hate England for what King George
and the English did to us 39 years after that date - 1776 to be exact? If England of that
date could have caught George Washington, America's most illustrious Masonic figure
would have been shot or hanged as a rebel. Around Michigan there still are well-
authenticated records of the English army paying $100 a head to Indians for the scalps of
American men and women. But do we, with sanity, hate England because of this?
Certainly not, thank God. That was too long ago. We are content to let the past buiy the
past. But in religion! Ah! that is different.
If the Roman Catholic church doesn't like Masonry, what of it? We like it. It's ours. The
Roman Catholic church doesn't try to run it. It simply doesn't want those of its faith to
join. That is its business, not ours. The loss is theirs, not ours. Why parade what some
narrowminded priest says against Masonry and shriek back at him with something
equally narrow-minded? Who wins by such nonsense? Nobody. Hatred feeds on hatred.
We drag up the superstitions and foolish hatreds of men who have been dead for
centuries in order to create a renewed supply of hatreds for the living. The thought to me
is monstrous. A Catholic's religion is his own business, mine is mine; why should we
hate each other about it or dig into the past to call each other names; or why should we
listen to bigots of either faith? Do the Beatitudes urge hatred of those who disagree with
I speak thus strongly on this subject because of the splendid name you bear as the
National Masonic Research Society and because of the tremendous possibilities for good
that can be found in such a society and through such a paper as yours. Let us stress the
virtue that is ours and not the evil that we think is in others.
No intelligent Roman Catholic scholar applauds some of ancient activities of the leaders
of his church. The Roman Catholic Encyclopedia, their standard work, most certainly
does not. But the whole world, centuries ago, was not what it is today. Is there to be no
advancement, no progress in human affairs? Must we still go back to the wicked ages of
darkness to find something to hate each other about?
Presenting Masonry as an anti-Roman Catholic order is wrong. Masonry is not and
never should be permitted to become an enemy of any religion. Your first two numbers
have made me wonder. If I am wrong I know you will correct me. I ask for light. Ido
not mean that your articles, of themselves, bear this stamp. Many of them have been
most excellent and inspiring. But such articles as these of the Dudley Wright series can
not but provide ammunition for the bigoted and narrow-minded on both sides. To keep
on piling up hatred can not go on forever; there must be an end as there was an end in
Europe of the armed nations. We must cooperate or fight. And what are we to fight
about? Because there are foolish and narrow-minded people who are best described by
Swift: "In religion many have just enough to make them hate one another and not enough
to make them love one another."
When a non-liberal Protestant attacks Catholicism, he merely gives the non-liberal
Roman Catholic a chance to justify his own attacks on protestantism. And when he does
that, the Protestant in turn justifies himself. So the circle widens, bigotry feeding on
bigotry until all of us are drawn into the cauldron of hate and we turn the book of time
back to the dark days of insane religious war!
Why should this be? Again I ask: Let there be light.
M.W. Bingay, Michigan.
Your letter is in spirit and principle beyond criticism, and reflects only credit upon
yourself. But you err in finding any venom or bigotry in Bro. Wright's articles; they are
as free from such disfigurements as your letter. Bro. Wright agrees with THE
BUILDER in seeing the great feud between the two institutions as an outstanding fact
which no Masonic student can ignore, and about which he should have the unvarnished
truth. As to any fanning of the flame of religious hatred THE BUILDER does not
approve of such a thing and has resolutely refused, and always will refuse, to publish
anything that smacks of such a character. You say that you see a tendency in THE
BUILDER to slide into mere and-Catholicism: let us see what the facts are:
Up to and including the June issue of this year THE BUILDER has published 78 issues.
Allowing thirty pages of reading matter to each issue we have 2,340 pages.
Allowing five signed articles to each issue we have 390 articles.
Thus far we have published on the subject in question the following: "The Inquisition" in
Volume III, page 264, in one part; "The Orange Institution" in Volume III, page 308, in
one part; the treatise on Masonry reprinted from the Catholic Encyclopedia, in Volume
V, in four parts; Pope Leo's Encyclical, in Volume V, two parts; Albert Pike's Reply
thereto, in Volume VI, in two parts; Secret Societies of the Roman Catholic Church, in
the April issue of this year, in one part; and in the May and June issues the first two
instalments of Dudley Wright's present series.
Therefore, of 390 articles six only have been devoted to Romanism: if you prefer to
count each part as equivalent to an article, then eleven. These articles have been
scattered through four volumes: in two volumes no articles at all appeared.
Of more than 2,300 pages of reading matter only about fifty have dealt with the feud.
These facts, Brother Bingay, do not bear out your charges, or warrant your
The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has four subordinate lodges in China, three in Chile,
and six in the Canal Zone.